Why You Should Fix a Chimney Leak
We’re all human and one thing we know about a lot of us is we tend to procrastinate until we absolutely have to do something! That is especially true if we think it’s going to cost us money. However, when it comes to a leaking chimney, we have found that for every day you put it off actually costs you more money in the end.
The reason is really simple; water is the number one enemy to brick and mortar as well as metal because of rust. Your chimney is made up of brick and mortar and metal parts. The longer you wait the more the entire system deteriorates and the more expensive the repairs.
But it’s not just the damage done to the chimney appliance that will get you. It’s the walls, ceilings and mantel that can also be at risk and that’s not even counting the fact that water can run and damage areas of a home that are in rooms far from the fireplace! One reason is that in many homes the fireplaces are built in rooms with the highest ceilings and rafters. Water is pulled by gravity down the rafters into those areas that are lower until it finds a way to drip onto a ceiling or down a wall. Sometimes it’s down the interior of a wall that you never see; just smell as time goes by.
If you are like a lot of people that see water running down a wall or on the ceiling your first reaction is to call a roofer. While the leak might be a roofing leak, roofing companies do not specialize in chimneys so they miss what is obvious to us and never get to the source of the problem. That’s why we recommend you call a professional, certified chimney company to inspect and evaluate a possible leaking chimney.
3 Main Areas of Concern
1. Places near your fireplace and chimney where water can “hang-out.” Examples are:
- Clear leaves from gutters on a regular basis, and repair any gutters that are broken. Examine your downspout locations in relation to the chimney. Downspout terminations that are uphill of the chimney, or that drain at the chimney base, pose risks and should therefore be diverted.
- Prune trees that hang over or near your chimney. Rain and dew that collects on trees is a frequent cause of masonry deterioration.
- Check for poor drainage and address this problem as soon as possible.
- Repair any leaks in the flashing (or seal) between your roofing material and the chimney.
- Make sure sprinklers are watering plants – not your chimney. Change the sprinkler head or your watering pattern as needed.
2. Consider asking us to waterproof your chimney. Or, have a chimney cap installed, or a new crown constructed, to prevent water from collecting in your firebox through the flue or chase.
3. Check for cracks in your chimney, deteriorated mortar joints, and weakened masonry. If you find any of the above, call us or schedule an appointment for an evaluation.