The Dangers of Ignoring Chimney Leaks
Water can be destructive, even to chimneys. After all, the Grand Canyon was carved out by water, frozen glaciers dug valleys across Canada and the Northwest, and more than one car has succumbed to the ravages or rust. Now, perhaps you can start to see the dangers of ignoring chimney leaks. There are a plethora of reasons to protect your chimney and fireplace from leaks. Let’s take a look.
Do You Have a Chimney Leak?
If you aren’t sure that your chimney is leaking, there are several warning signs common to a leaky chimney:
- Water stains on the ceiling around or near your chimney.
- Water pooling in your firebox.
- The sound of water dripping in your fireplace.
- A rusty damper.
- A musty, damp smell coming from your fireplace or chimney.
- Crumbling bricks or stone on the exterior of your chimney (spalling).
What Kind of Damage Can a Leaky Chimney Do?
A leaky chimney will have issues with water being absorbed by your masonry chimney’s bricks or stone, and during a freeze-thaw cycle, it is likely that damage will occur from the bricks or stone expanding and contracting. The leak can also impact your roof, causing shingles or the roof itself to rot. If you have items in your attic that you want to preserve, a leaky chimney is the enemy of that preservation. A leaky chimney can dampen your attic and promote dangerous mold growth.
Your attic is not the only place that can have moisture damage from a chimney leak; the walls of your house can become damp around a leak in your chimney and become wet. Wet walls grow hazardous black mold and can buckle from structural damage. Your ceiling around a chimney leak can warp and cave in. There is no shortage of ways a leaky chimney can damage your home. Even your flooring, especially wood flooring, can be damaged by a leaky chimney. Moisture can creep from the leak in the chimney directly into wood floors and cause planks to warp and break loose. It can cause the carpet to grow mold and rot. So, you see how vital it is to deal with a leaky chimney.
How Do Chimney Leaks Happen?
Here are some of the more common ways chimney leaks occur:
- Damaged or wrong-sized chimney caps will allow water to enter your chimney’s opening at its crown. Some chimneys lack a cap altogether.
- A cracked or broken chimney crown will allow water to infiltrate your entire chimney. A cracked chimney crown must be repaired immediately.
- Damaged or improperly installed chimney flashing will allow water to not only seep into your chimney but the roofing as well.
How Do You Deal with a Chimney Leak?
The best way to take care of a chimney leak is to hire a certified chimney sweep service to repair it. They will come to your home and inspect your chimney to determine the cause of the leak and give you a quote in writing before they begin repairs. You should not try to repair a leaky chimney; you may end up doing more damage than good in the end.
Felgemacher Can Fix Your Chimney Leak
Is your chimney leaking? Don’t try to repair it yourself; give us a call. If you live in the Buffalo, NY, Rochester, NY, or Charlotte, NC areas, call us at 716-482-1820 and speak with one of our knowledgeable chimney experts; they will be glad to discuss your needs.