At A Sweep Across the Bay, we think that if you have a wood-burning fireplace, it’s important to know common signs of chimney damage. With hurricane Irma passing through recently, a quick visual inspection could save you both money and headaches down the line. Our experts can also come out to inspect your fireplace and chimney, and if we find any damage or issues, we’ll provide the necessary repairs or maintenance to keep your fireplace safe to use.

Here are some common signs of chimney damage:

Chimney Caps

Made out of metal or masonry, chimney cap covers are added to the top of your chimney and stop water from getting into the masonry underneath. Look for any chips or cracks in your masonry chimney cap, as well as any pooling water or areas that are missing or discolored. If you have a metal chimney cap, you may see holes, rust, or cracks, anchor points on top of the cap, and connecting joints missing sealant or with cracked sealant. These are all warning signs and if you don’t get the needed repairs right away, your home could suffer water damage.

Water Pooling

Your brick or stone chimney needs to have the right water seal, so water will just bead up and run off. If you find water pooling in mortar joints you may need the water seal to be reapplied. We can check it out for you, but if you see water dripping or pooling on the inside of your fireplace let us know right away. That means you have a chimney leak that needs to be repaired as soon as possible.


A powdery white residue found on your chimney bricks is called efflorescence. It is a sign of water penetration and it can be a big problem. When moisture moves through the bricks, it leaves behind white mineral deposits and can lead to the deterioration of the bricks and the mortar. If you find it, we can put in a new chimney liner that can help resolve the problem.


If you notice the chimney bricks or stones flaking, that is known as spalling. It is caused by water penetration and results in losing the face of the chimney masonry. If you see pieces of brick or stone on the ground or on your roof, give us a call so we can help you fix the spalling.


Flashing keeps water and moisture from getting into your home at the seams where the chimney and roof meet. However, we need to make sure your metal flashing was installed properly. Sometimes the flashing is pinned or nailed to the mortar, and then the top portion of the flashing is caulked. But this does not work well and often ends up popping loose and creating cracks in the caulking of your roof flashing.

Even if installed properly, flashing can fail, letting moisture damage your chimney. Irma’s powerful winds could certainly have caused damage to your flashing, so look for clues such as rust spots, loose flashing joints or holes. This needs your prompt attention, so don’t delay repair.

You should have your fireplace and chimney checked for common signs of chimney damage and get them taken repaired right away. If you don’t, the repairs can end up bigger and more expensive. Our experts at A Sweep Across the Bay in Tampa Bay can inspect your fireplace and chimney and help repair and maintain your fireplace to keep you and your house safe from fires and water damage. Let us keep you safe and able to enjoy cozy nights by the fire.