Causes of Chimney Leaks | Leaky Chimney Repair and Prevention
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Causes of Chimney Leaks

Chimney leaks aren’t just annoying; they can cause major problems and structural damage. So, what causes chimney leaks, and how can you prevent them? We have the answers!

Chimney Crown Repair in Buffalo NYCracked Chimney Crown

Cause – The chimney crown is the concrete top designed to keep out rain and snow. However, if you live in an area that experiences a freeze/thaw cycle, the crown can crack, allowing moisture to enter.

Prevention – Hire a professional chimney sweep for an annual inspection to detect and repair minor cracks before they worsen. To prevent further damage, consider adding a weatherproof sealant.

Damaged Chimney Flashing

Cause – Flashing is the seal between the chimney and the roof. If it’s improperly installed or damaged, water can seep through the gaps and cause leaks.

Prevention – Ensure the flashing is properly installed by trained, certified professionals and keep it well maintained with regular inspections and repairs.

Worn-Out Mortar Joints

Cause – Mortar joints wear out over time, especially in places with fluctuating temperatures and weather. This deterioration allows moisture to enter and compromise the chimney’s structural integrity.

Prevention – Tuckpointing, or repointing, which involves removing and replacing the deteriorated mortar, can prevent leaks and restore your chimney’s appearance.

Leaky Chimney Cap

Cause – The chimney cap covers the top of the flue to prevent water, critters, and debris from getting into the chimney. If the cap is missing or damaged, moisture can enter the chimney, causing leaks and mold.

Prevention – If you don’t have a chimney cap, install one. They’re inexpensive and a must-have for chimney owners. Also, make sure you get it inspected regularly for corrosion or damage.


Cause – Condensation occurs when warm, moist air meets a chimney’s cooler interior surface, especially if your chimney doesn’t have a flue liner.

Prevention – Installing a flue liner can mitigate moisture entry, reduce condensation, and provide protection against high temperatures and corrosive byproducts, thus protecting your chimney and home.

Porous Brick and Stone

Cause – Over time, brick and stone can become porous and absorb water, leading to cracks and leaks.

Prevention – Hire a professional to apply a weatherproof sealing product to the chimney’s exterior to prevent absorption and structural damage.

Schedule Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Since the chimney is exposed to the weather 24/7 and is subject to damage like creosote buildup and decay, it’s crucial to schedule annual inspections by a certified chimney professional to check for leaks and other issues that could compromise performance and safety. Pros can detect issues an amateur might miss and recommend minor repairs before they worsen and require a partial or complete rebuild.

Chimney Inspection and Cleaning in Rochester NYCall Felgemacher Fireplace Shop for All Your Chimney Needs

Felgemacher Fireplace Shop has served western New York residents for over 60 years. We’re the area’s one-stop shop for everything chimney- or fireplace-related. Our technicians are certified by the National Fireplace Institute, so you can trust their work to be accurate and long-lasting.
Call us today at 716-482-1820.