3 Reasons Your Chimney Is Leaking
A chimney leak is nothing to take lightly. Even a minor leak can progress to the point that your chimney structure is no longer safe to use or live around. There are three main reasons that could be causing your chimney to leak. Ye Olde Brit Chimney Sweep of San Bernardino, CA, would like to tell you about them and recommend some solutions.
1. A damaged or missing chimney cap
Chimney caps sit atop chimneys and keep water out of the flue and out of cracks in the chimney crown. If a cap is damaged by rust or warping, it can no longer provide protection. If there’s no chimney cap at all, the flue is vulnerable to incoming water that can damage the chimney liner, the fireplace damper and other parts and areas within your chimney system. Chimney caps can be repaired or replaced as needed.
2. Issues with the chimney masonry
Over the years, chimney bricks can begin to crack and let in water. Water has a deteriorating effect on bricks and can open up larger cracks. The mortar that holds the bricks together can also be damaged by years of rain.
If the problem is allowed to progress, water will seep into the interior chimney system, where it can cause rotting of home building materials as well as the roof.
Professional solutions for damaged masonry include:
Tuckpointing: This process replaces old, decayed mortar with a fresh new
Brick replacement: Old loose bricks can be replaced, adding new strength
and durability to the masonry.
Waterproofing: After necessary repairs are made, a waterproofing
treatment will help to keep the masonry safe from future water intrusion.
3. Warped or otherwise damaged chimney flashing
Chimney roof flashing is the material that seals the gap between the chimney and the roof. When flashing is damaged, water can run down into unseen parts of your home, leading to rotting in beams, walls and flooring. This type of leak can also cause damage to the masonry of sections of the chimney beneath the roof. A third concern is a dangerous outbreak of hidden mold. Damaged flashing should usually be replaced by a professional chimney technician. Things you can watch out for Certain occurrences, like a lightning strike, major hail storm, or gale-force winds, can cause a chimney leak right away. Other leaks are progressive: they start slow and can be stopped anywhere along the line.
Common signals that tell you that your chimney may be leaking or is heading toward a leak include:
- Crumbling mortar on the roof
- Loose or cracked bricks
- Strong musty smells coming from the firebox, attic or crawl spaces
- Visible damage to the chimney cap or chimney flashing
- Damp sections of walls and the ceiling near the fireplace
We resolve chimney leaks
For more than 30 years, Ye Olde Brit has been helping Southern California Inland Empire Communitiesns resolve their leaky chimney problems. We can help you, too. Reach a chimney leak expert at (909) 880-2120 or get in touch through our handy contact form.