Why Is Your Chimney Leaking?
A leaky chimney is no fun, plus it’s potentially dangerous. Chimneys shouldn’t leak, and when they do, it’s important to schedule an inspection and have repair work done as quickly as possible.
Causes of chimney leaks can range from the obvious to the obscure. A trained chimney technician is the best person to determine the source of the leak, the extent of the and the best way to fix it.
Signs your chimney is leaking
You can spot some chimney leak signals such as:
- Water in the firebox
- White staining (efflorescence) on exterior masonry
- Damp walls or the ceiling near the fireplace/chimney
- Strong, musty odors coming from the firebox or in the attic or crawl spaces
- A damper that’s squeaky from rust and is hard to move
If you notice any of these signals, have a licensed chimney inspector take a look at your system.
Common causes of chimney leaks
We consider any water inside a chimney system to be a leak, and all water can damage a chimney structure and its components. Most of the time, a leaky chimney starts with:
Damaged or missing chimney cap
The chimney cap at the top of your chimney keeps rain and snow out of the flue. If it’s deteriorated or if there is no cap, water has a free ride inside.
Cracked chimney crown
The concrete chimney crown, also at the top of your chimney, protects the interior chimney and the bricks below the crown from water intrusion. A cracked crown has lost its ability to protect.
Bricks and mortar are strong but not invincible. Age will take its toll on masonry, as will lightning strikes, earthquakes, hail storms, house-shifting and chimney fires. When bricks and mortar are cracked and crumbing, water moves in and accelerates the damage cycle.
Warped, deteriorated or missing chimney flashing
Chimney flashing is the material that covers the gap between your exterior chimney and roof. When flashing is damaged, water can intrude and run down into unseen parts of your home. The result often is rotting, mold growth and damage to certain areas of the chimney masonry.
What to do about a leaky chimney
Inspection is the first step in dealing with a chimney leak. A licensed chimney inspector will evaluate your system and provide a report showing exactly what was found. The inspector in most cases will be able to make needed repairs including:
- Brick replacement
- Tuckpointing to replace decayed mortar joints
- Chimney crown rebuilding
- Chimney cap repair or replacement
- Chimney flashing repair or installation
- Complete or partial chimney rebuilding when the chimney damage is severe
A leaking chimney isn’t something you want to ignore. Leak issues don’t resolve themselves; rather, they progress to unsafe conditions.
Get on top chimney issues quickly by calling the experts at National Chimney Service. We’ve been helping our Morris County, NJ, and Fairfield County, CT, customers for more than 13 years with professional chimney inspections, chimney leak repair, structural repair and rebuilding, chimney cleaning and all other important services. We’re licensed and fully insured for your protection.
Speak with a chimney pro today by calling 800-631-6177.