Is Your Chimney Leaking? Find Out Why!

Why is my chimney leaking?

You have water coming into the house and don’t understand why. Could it be a roof leak? A hole or crack in the wall? Nope, chances are it could be your leaking chimney. Chimneys are an essential part of the home and, if not taken care of properly, can begin to accumulate repair costs that can bring headaches. Trying to understand how this leak happened can seem impossible, but we’ve made it easier for you to determine the primary source of the problem.

Why Is My Chimney Leaking?

We’ve decided to break down the different reasons why water could be leaking from your chimney so you can put a stop to it immediately and help prevent any future damage.

Chimney Cap Leaks

Although a chimney cap is an accessory, it plays a critical function. Often, the source of a leak can be as simple as not having a chimney cap installed or having a faulty chimney cap that needs to be repaired. A chimney cap helps keep rainwater from pouring down your chimney, which can ultimately lead to water damage, mold, and mildew.

Debris, such as leaves and branches, can also get into your chimney, but you can prevent debris from accumulating with a chimney cap. Several animals, like birds and squirrels, build their nests in chimneys but sometimes have a problem getting out. They can eventually get trapped in the chimney and die, causing a dead animal in a chimney situation and releasing an accumulation of unpleasant odors. Having a chimney cap in place can keep wildlife from entering your chimney.

Cracks in Your Chimney Crown

A chimney crown is the cement slab surface at the top of a chimney that covers the top of your chimney. It prevents water from flowing into the chimney brick walls by redirecting the water to fall to the roof or ground.  

When cracks develop in the crown, water can begin to seep in between the flue lining and the chimney, causing damage to your ceilings and walls.

Decaying Chimney Mortar

Masonry mortar is a mix used for building chimneys and repairing them. A chimney mortar will typically last up to 25 years, but when it starts deteriorating, it can cause unwanted moisture within the overall chimney structure and foundation.

Chimney Flashing Problems

Chimney flashing is the sheet metal that keeps the connection between the chimney and roof watertight to prevent separation and leakage. The flashing consists of two metal panel parts: the step or base flashing and counter flashing.

Your flashing should be inspected regularly as rust can start to form around it and cause small holes that can be difficult to locate.    

How Serious Is A Leaking Chimney?

It is essential to take care of your leaking chimney as soon as possible to alleviate damage to not only the foundation of your chimney but also your roof, home, and health. If left neglected, your leaking chimney can soon lead to even more costly problems:

  • Water Damage – once water enters your walls, it can damage every type of finish, including plaster, wallpaper, paneling, and paint.
  • Mold Problems – moisture can lead to mold, spreading to the wood behind your drywall without you knowing. Certain types of mold can negatively affect the overall health of everyone in the home.
  • Wood Rot – unattended leaks can cause the supporting wood structures in your walls to rot. Not only will the compromised wood need to be replaced for structural integrity, but moist wood also attracts unwanted pests like carpenter ants, rodents, and termites that can do even more damage.
  • More Leaks – moisture from leaks can quickly spread throughout your chimney and eventually into parts of your home, causing even more damage than you initially thought. 

Need Help Fixing Your Leaking Chimney?

If you need help finding the source of the leak, schedule an appointment or call a professional from Capitol Chimney to inspect your chimney. Once our specialist has thoroughly inspected your chimney and located the source of the problem, we can then take the necessary steps to repair your chimney back to normal. There’s no need to worry about a leak when you have the pros at Capitol Chimney to help.

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Walter Clarke
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