Chimney leaks are a common occurrence due to melting snow and heavy rains. Excess moisture in your home isn’t good, therefore, it’s important to quickly identify the cause when you have a leaky chimney. It’s never a good idea to put off repairing a leak, especially if it could potentially cause further problems. Let’s take a look at some common causes of chimney leaks.
Cracks in the Crown May Result in Chimney Leaks
The crown is the cement surface at the top of the chimney. Its main purpose is to protect the chimney and keep rain out. However, cracks that develop in the crown can cause water to get between the flue lining and the chimney. This ultimately causes damage to ceilings and walls in your home.
Additionally, cracks that are left untreated over time will absorb water and freeze in cold weather. Constant freezing and thawing temperatures will also cause the crack to expand, making it much harder to fix. In general, you may be able to apply a sealant yourself if the cracks are small. However, if they are larger, you will likely need a professional to repair or replace the crown.
The Chimney Flashing is Cracked or Torn
Chimney flashing is a metal banding wrapped around the base of a chimney to seal out water. Flashing material, usually aluminum, keeps water from coming down between the roof and chimney. Although waterproof tar typically seals the flashing, this doesn’t last forever.
Generally speaking, chimney flashing is susceptible to leaks and will eventually rust. For that reason, it should be inspected regularly to prevent any further damage. Be sure to look for any large gaps between the chimney bricks and the flashing. If you find gaps, a chimney professional may be needed to seal them.
Deteriorating Mortar Can Cause Chimney Leaks
Cracks in the mortar joints between chimney bricks commonly cause water to leak into a fireplace. As the mortar begins to deteriorate, moisture has an easier time entering the chimney structure. When conducting a visual inspection, look for deep holes or missing sections of mortar along with the interior of your chimney. Furthermore, a Masonry Absorption Test can be done to see if your chimney is in need of professional waterproofing.
A Missing Chimney Cover or Cap
The chimney cap is a chimney’s first line of defense against rain, animal infestation, and debris. Additionally, chimney caps keep sparks and embers from escaping your chimney and damaging your home. For the most part, you will know if your chimney leaks are caused by a missing or damaged cover simply by looking at it.
If you notice any of these problems with your chimney or fireplace, you may be in need of a new chimney cap:
- Your fireplace is more smokey than normal.
- You notice moisture inside your fireplace.
- Your fireplace is unusually drafty or inefficient.
Don’t Let Chimney Leaks Ruin Your Fireplace
When inspecting your roof and chimney, always use caution. If you’re checking over areas that are too difficult to reach or dangerous, choose the Chimney Expert instead. With over 20 years of experience servicing Milwaukee chimneys, we’re the first name in high-quality chimney cleaning, repair, and restoration. Contact us today to receive a free estimate!