If You Have a Chimney Leak
If your chimney hasn’t had an inspection in the last 12 months, if it’s missing a cap, crown, or flashing, or if it’s been affected by a severe storm, you may have a leak and not even realize it. Most homeowners don’t know what to look for, and damage is extensive by the time they notice signs of a leak. This is why routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections are so important. Only a chimney professional can notice minor problems and repair it before it causes major damage. The most important thing you can do is to pay attention to your system.
- Do you hear water dripping?
- Is there staining or moisture on the inside or outside of your masonry?
- Do you know the last time your chimney was serviced or inspected?
You may even have a leak in another part of your house, and its caused by your chimney! When water enters the home by way of the chimney, it will travel through floors and walls until it reaches its lowest point, collects, and forms a leak. This is why you should call a chimney professional if you have a leak! A general contractor or handyman will not know to check the chimney first. Your first call should be to Neighborhood Chimney Services, and we’ll fix your leaky chimney.
Causes of Chimney Leaks
There are other potential culprits, when a home has problems caused by leaks, but here we focus on chimney leaks. As our chimney professionals are well aware, leaky chimneys are not uncommon. There are numerous possible causes of chimney leaks, and the following are a few of them:
The metal part of the chimney, which is meant to form a waterproof seal between roof and chimney, is susceptible to leaking for several reasons. First of all, flashing is difficult to correctly install. Secondly, flashing tends to rust and develop leaks. The flashing should be inspected regularly. This feature of the chimney is less durable than probably any other component. Leaks can develop where the nails are or toward the top, if there isn’t an effective waterproof seal. Flashing leaks often cause a lot of damage before they are detected. Our chimney professionals recommend checking the area around the chimney as seen in the attic. These leaks can cause serious structural damage, which can be very expensive to repair. The sooner the leak is identified, the less costly the needed repairs are likely to be.
The life of the mortar that cements masonry and holds it together is not usually any longer than 25 years, while the bricks or stone lasts well over a century. When the mortar begins to deteriorate, moisture is allowed to pour into the chimney structure. The saturated masonry freezes and thaws in winter; and all of the movement causes the masonry face to pop or flake off. If the mortar isn’t replaced, the chimney can lean or collapse.
No Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is an accessory, but it performs a vital function. The chimney cap prevents rain from pouring directly into your chimney and causing various moisture problems.
The cement surface at the top of the chimney is the crown, and it sometimes needs to be replaced or repaired. When cracks develop in the crown, water gets between the flue lining and the chimney, which can cause damage to ceilings and walls.
One of the most important reasons to schedule an annual chimney inspection is to get the expert assessment of a pro who knows how to identify leaks in a chimney. Contact our chimney technicians today for an inspection, and put a stop to any hidden or obvious leaks in your chimney.