Whether it’s water in the firebox, a moldy smell when you open the damper, or water damage to walls and ceilings, a leaky chimney can show itself in many different ways. No matter what symptoms are showing, it is important to identify and fix the source of the chimney leak to prevent ongoing and future water damage.
What causes leaky chimneys?
Because chimneys are made up of a number of different components, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a leaky chimney. While a professional chimney evaluation is often needed to find the cause of a leaky chimney, the following are some of the most common causes of chimney leaks.
- Cracked chimney crown. The chimney crown is a concrete or masonry slab that covers and seals the top of the chimney structure. Exposure to the elements, poor construction, or subpar materials can all cause chimney crowns to crack and spall. When this occurs, water can get into and damage the chimney and surrounding building materials.
- Water soaking bricks and masonry. Because bricks are naturally porous, they are meant to absorb small amounts of water. However, small cracks or holes in your bricks can cause the masonry to absorb excess moisture, soaking them and causing major water damage. Damaged masonry should be repaired as soon as possible; the more damaged the brick is, the faster it will continue to deteriorate.
- Water coming in through the roofline. If you have water on your ceilings and walls around your chimney, the roof may not be to blame. Damaged flashing – the weatherproof strip that seals the joint between your roof and the chimney – can cause water to come in through the roofline. This kind of leak can damage your masonry as well as surrounding building materials, walls, and ceilings.
- Damaged chimney cap. A damaged chimney cap can let water freely flow into and down your chimney. This can cause damage to many different parts of the chimney system including the masonry, flue lining, and firebox. Chimney caps can also cause water leaks if they are incorrectly size or improperly installed.
Preventing chimney leaks
One of the best and most effective ways to prevent chimney leaks is through preventative maintenance. An annual chimney inspection can identify any areas of damage or deterioration in your chimney system before they cause water entry.
Another way to protect your chimney against the elements is by using a masonry sealer. Our waterproof sealants are specifically designed for use on chimney masonry; they are designed to allow gasses to pass through the brick, but keep water from getting in. These products can help stop the progress of water damage to your masonry, and can also be used as a way to prevent water damage to your chimney structure.
A leaky chimney can cause major problems throughout your home and fireplace system. Contact Coopertown Services today to learn more about fixing your leaky chimney and preventing chimney leaks from returning again.