A chimney leak is more than a nuisance; it can lead to severe structural issues and interior damage to the home. Fortunately, water damage is usually easy to detect, and professional sweeps are always able to pinpoint the cause of the leak.
- Water entering the top of the chimney. One of the simplest causes of chimney water damage is rainwater entering through the opening at the top. Soon you may see water spots inside the home, but you could also be faced with rusting metal chimney components. Adding a chimney cap is a simple and inexpensive fix that can save a lot of money. These caps also have mesh that prevents birds and small animals from entering, and keeps debris out.
- Chimney flashing deterioration. The flashing covers the area where the chimney meets the roof. If it is not applied correctly, water will easily seep through to the interior of the home. It is made from aluminum and it fills the space and adheres to the chimney bricks and roof material to form an effective seal. Like other material, it can start to break down due to age. Water seepage can be minor at first, but it can quickly worsen.
- Condensation. Fumes inside the chimney structure contain moisture, and this can seep through the bricks and affect walls around the chimney. As the moisture condenses, it becomes too much for the bricks to absorb. It is common with older chimneys without liners and chimneys with liner installation problems.
- Cracks in the crown. This cement section at the top of the chimney is designed to make water flow away from the opening. If it develops cracks, water will enter and run down the inside of the structure. Sealant products can protect the crown even if there are tiny cracks, but for extensive damage a replacement will be necessary.
- Leaky bricks. Freeze/thaw cycles take a toll on brickwork. Water in the porous bricks freezes in winter and leaves cracks which more water can seep through. This can cause mortar to deteriorate as well. Using the right sealant products can offer some protection, but if there is already water damage, the chimney professional will need to make repairs.
Water spots in the ceiling are not always caused by leaky chimneys. Sometimes a roof issue is the cause, so it is best to call a chimney professional so you can decide how to deal with the problem.
Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Conshohocken
We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.