When you think about your roof and the possibility of it leaking, you are probably filled with dread because you know how water can be extremely damaging to the inside of your house. Now take that same feeling of dread and apply it to your chimney because a leak in your chimney is just as destructive. Not sure about leaks? Here are some reasons why your chimney could be leaking.
The crown of your chimney can crack for many reasons: a large tree limb falling on it, lightning strikes, age, or any of a multitude of reasons. Once the crown of your chimney is cracked, it will allow water inside the chimney and cause erosion of the mortar, breaking down its bricks. The bricks will absorb the water and become cracked or broken during the freeze-thaw cycle due to expansion and contraction. Repairing the broken chimney crown and covering it with a metal chimney cover will take care of this issue.
If you have a factory-built fireplace, it could be a damaged chase cover that is causing leaks. A chase cover is a metal piece that fits over the chimney. A chimney chase cover does what it says; it covers the top of the chimney and allows the flue pipe to rise above the top. A chase cover is typically located on top of wood-framed chimneys with wood or metal siding. Much in the same way a chimney crown can become damaged, a chase cover can be damaged by heavy falling objects and lightning, and unlike a chimney crown, a chase cover can rust and allow water inside. Replacing the chase cover with a new one will solve the problem.
A roof flashing is a flat piece of metal that attaches wherever the roof’s horizon meets something vertical, in this case, a chimney. The flashing is there to direct water away from where the roof meets the chimney. One issue with the flashing is being improperly installed and is not flush against both vertical and horizontal surfaces. This problem allows water through gaps that can cause water damage to both the chimney. Another issue is that flashings eventually wear out from exposure to the weather. A worn-out flashing may pull away from the chimney or lift just enough to create a leak. The fix for this is easy, replace the old flashing with a new one.
One of the most common causes of chimney leaks is when bricks absorb too much water. As bricks are baked by the sun year in and out, they become more porous and absorbent. When bricks become absorbent, they soak in the moisture from rain and hold it. When the winter comes, saturated bricks will expand and contract with the freeze-thaw cycle, and that repeated motion will crack and break bricks, allowing water to damage your chimney further. This issue can be fixed by replacing broken and cracked bricks with new ones.
There are a number of warning signs for leaking chimneys; here are a few:
If you suspect your chimney is leaking, FlameMaster’s CSIA-certified chimney specialist can inspect it to determine if it’s leaking and find the cause. Call us or fill out our simple contact form. We would be happy to discuss your chimney and any potential leaks it may have. Don’t wait until a leak
has done irreversible damage to your chimney
or house; get in touch today!