Reasons Why Your Chimney May Be Leaking
If you are unaware, no substance does more damage to your house over time than water. Moisture can break down brick and create dangerous black mold. A chimney is one of the most common ways water enters a home. If you own a chimney, you probably have or will experience leaking at some point. Whether it’s after a rainstorm or during the cold winter months, finding water in your fireplace is never fun. But don’t worry; there are ways to fix this problem! Keep reading to find out how to stop your chimney from leaking.
The first step to stopping your chimney from leaking is identifying the cause. The source could come from various factors, like dampness penetrating cracks or crevices in the masonry, loose or broken down flashing rain and condensation, or even a buildup of leaves, moss, or trash on the chimney crown. Regardless of the cause, you must take steps to fix this issue as soon as possible to avoid more severe problems in the future.
Three Common Causes of Chimney Leaks
Your chimney is leaking due to issues with the roof flashing.
Roof flashing is a thin metal material installed on your roof to guide water off your roof and away from places like your chimney, but sometimes flashing is the cause of your chimney leak.
One reason may be that the flashing was improperly installed. When this kind of flashing issue occurs, your chimney won’t have anything to stop the water from entering your house.
Another explanation is the flashing around your chimney has been degraded. No material can endlessly withstand sun and rain, and the components that make up your roof are no different. When your flashing eventually wears out, it must be replaced to eliminate leaks and protect your roof and chimney.
The chimney is leaking from a rusted chase top.
Some Chimneys have what is known as a chase top that stops water from coming straight down into the chimney when it rains. It’ll have a hole cut in the middle for the spark arrester and chimney pipe to go through that’ll be sealed with caulk.
If the chase is lower in the middle than the rest of the steel panel, it will hold water, causing the water to penetrate your chimney because the chase top is rusted.
The caulking could also fail around the hole that the chimney pipe and spark arrestor comes through due to oxidation and weathering. If you have your chimney inspected annually, the inspector will catch any issues with your chase top before they become a significant headache.
Chimney leaks due to weathered bricks.
If your chimney is made from bricks, then eventually, you will experience an issue with it. Bricks and mortar are exposed relentlessly to the sun, heat, and cold. The constant barrage of elements causes the bricks in your chimney to wear down and become porous, in fact, to become porous enough to absorb rainwater. Ideally, your chimney cap or chase top would direct the water evenly off it. Unfortunately, water drying completely on a chimney top never happens. What usually transpires is the water pools in a low-lying area of the chase top, and after it’s been raining for a while, it permeates the bricks so much that it leaks inside the chimney. It’s an issue that homeowners deal with during prolonged periods of rain.
An experienced and qualified chimney sweep service will seal the bricks with a masonry water repellent that prevents water from saturating bricks and mortar to stop this chimney leak.
An Ounce of Prevention…
Benjamin Franklin may have been the wisest man since King Solomon because his advice holds up to this day, and it can be applied to your chimney and leaks. The secret to eliminating chimney leaks is to stop them before they start. By hiring a certified Chimney Sweep service to perform annual inspections on your chimney, any potential problem areas can be repaired before they cause leaks in your home.
Felgemacher Masonry and Chimney Can Eliminate Your Chimney Leak
At Felgemacher Masonry and Chimney, we have over sixty years of experience inspecting and repairing chimneys. We are also certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), so we have the qualifications to complement our long history. Find out why Buffalo and Rochester have trusted us to inspect their chimneys since 1953. Call (716) 452-9156 or (585) 684-7197 to schedule service or an estimate. Or contact us online. One of our chimney experts will be happy to answer any questions about your leaking chimney and schedule one of our chimney-sweep crews to perform an inspection.