What Are The Causes And Fixes For White Staining On Chimneys

How many times you’ve seen the exterior of someone’s home and noticed white deposits that look gross. Or maybe in your own home? What causes chimney white stains, how you can prevent them, and do you need chimney repair? You can get all the details below.

What Is The White Staining On Chimneys?

The most worthy cause of these white stains is a residue called efflorescence. This residue is not unusual. Whenever you notice this white discoloration is sure that it is due to moisture seepage, which can be the biggest enemy for your home’s exterior and interior.

Beyond discoloration of your home, there are many risks involved with this white staining. If you don’t curb this issue, it will harm the chimney beyond repair. You can expect that your chimney will lean or collapse. The flue will deteriorate over time, and you will have to replace it entirely. Moreover, it will lessen the life, and your chimney will age prematurely.

Different Types Of Efflorescence

Efflorescence can be of several types. White is the most commonly occurring, while yellow, brown, and green are also found in most cases. It depends entirely on the type of mineral salt found in the masonry. The most occurring salts are magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and iron, all from the sulfate. If you particularly notice greenish stains, that’s because your masonry has magnesium salts. The reason for these colors is the type of salt that causes staining.

Causes For Efflorescence

When water from the masonry passes through the bricks of the chimney, it causes efflorescence. Efflorescence happens when moisture in your chimney evaporates through the bricks and leaves behind mineral salts as a residue material. The salt residue makes its home in the form of crystallized or powdery material on the exterior side of your chimney. Sometimes the residue can be in the form of fluff or fuzz, which can worsen over time. These salt deposits aren’t an immediate threat to the home other than aesthetic discoloration. But if a proper and timely solution is not found, it can lead to worsening of the chimney, causing deep cracks.

Whenever your spot efflorescence, be sure that there is some problem going on inside the chimney. The moisture which is deteriorating your chimney is also creating havoc with other areas from where the masonry is crossing. Mold, bacteria, and rot are surely creating a mess with your wood structures which are in contact with your bricks as well, and if not worked out they will cause damage. Other surfaces that will face similar consequences are ceilings, walls, carpets, padding, and insulation.

Other Causes Of Efflorescence

It’s not just the moisture making its way through your chimney bricks that causes efflorescence. There are many more factors contributing to this problem. Check out for the following issues;

  • Your chimney isn’t lined
  • Your chimney isn’t capped
  • The mortar inside your chimney is chipped or cracked and needs filling
  • The liner of your chimney has deteriorated and needs a replacement

How To Remove These White Stains On Chimneys?

The stains are a clear indication of moisture leakage in the chimney bricks, stones, or cement exterior. Removal of these white stains is relatively simple because they aren’t resistant to most traditional abrasives.

In many cases, heavy torrential rain can wash away the white salt deposits, which is an economical and effort-free way to get rid of them but if your area doesn’t receive ample rain and you can’t find this solution working for you, you will have to seek professional help who will employ deep abrasive cleaners to sort the problem.

It’s advisable to contact a chimney professional to rectify the problem and work out the solution which is the moisture. Obviously, there is a crack in your chimney or some missing mortar that needs your attention. The texture of the chimney bricks acts like a spongy material which absorbs the moisture and filters the salty residue that crystallizes. If the brick doesn’t appear cracked or damaged, chances are that it may need a sealant because of its spongy property.

Final Word

The best way to avoid chaos is to check for efflorescence time and again. Moisture can cause damage beyond control and it’s better to nip the bud at the earliest. Hire a chimney contractor Bowie to inspect your chimney and do the necessary repairs.

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