Skip Navigation

What Causes Chimney Discoloration?

What Causes Chimney Discoloration? champion chimneys

Discoloration on your chimney may seem harmless, but it’s a clear sign of a chimney problem.

Stains on your chimney may seem harmless, but it’s a clear sign of a chimney problem. For homeowners, chimney discoloration is an easy to identify a chimney issue before an expert chimney sweep discovers it during a chimney inspection. Some stains are normal from regular wear and tear, but some can be concerning. However, a chimney expert should be called for repair in nearly every instance of chimney discoloration. Let’s go over the causes of chimney discoloration.

White Chimney Stains

White chimney discoloration is evidence of “efflorescence.” It means that water-soluble salts within the masonry have mixed with water and traveled outside of the bricks, leaving deposits that cause discoloration. Besides destroying the bricks by expanding and contracting during freezing and thawing cycles, the saltwater mix leaves white staining, which is crystalline or powder, on the chimney. You can simply wash off the efflorescence, but that doesn’t solve the real problem. The bricks must be replaced, or the chimney will begin leaning.

Black Chimney Discoloration

Black stains on your chimney are usually a result of creosote and soot buildup in the flue. If your chimney isn’t cleaned regularly, creosote from wood fires builds up, creating a thicker layer on the walls of the chimney flue. The chimney may start to smoke because creosote has obstructed the opening and won’t allow a proper draft. A professional chimney cleaning is usually needed for black chimney discoloration.

Brown or Red Chimney Discoloration

If you see brown or rusty red discoloration on your chimney, you likely have a metal prefabricated chimney. Rust-prone metal chase covers are used for factory-built chimneys. On the other hand, Masonry chimneys should have a chimney cap, and they always have metal flashing. It’s possible that the flashing or a damaged chimney cap could cause rust on your chimney. Rust stains on any chimney usually mean there’s a chimney leak, and the help of a certified chimney sweep is needed to determine the scope of the problem.

Green or Blueish Chimney Discoloration

If your chimney is built correctly and all components keep moisture out, you should not see mold or algae stains. These chimney discolorations might be green, dark green, or blueish. If water frequently flows directly over the masonry, you may see these stains on your chimney. A professional chimney sweeper should determine whether mold is also inside the chimney, which could create health issues, as all mold is toxic and must be removed.

Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning from Champion Chimneys, Inc.

When you need a trusted company for your chimney inspection and chimney cleaning, you can trust our team. Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland, since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 20th, 2023 at 10:11 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.