So you walk into your basement room where you have a lush green carpets and the warm inviting wood stove all ready to sit down and enjoy your book. You sit down and prop your feet up only to heave a frustrated sigh when your eyes fall on the stained ceiling. The moment is ruined. You think the leak must be coming from your chimney, but how can you know for sure and what steps should you take to find out?
The frustrations may seem never ending, but if you follow these basic tips, you might just be able to your water leak and go about solving the problem.
First of all, it is important that you find out for sure where the leak is before you begin tearing down dry wall or otherwise spending thousands of dollars to fix an area that isn’t really the problem. It may be tedious, but the first thing you should do is some troubleshooting starting at the lowest possible point of entry. Apply water onto different points on the ground or chimney and chronicle how long it takes for the water to drain.
Places you will want to focus your attention on are:
- Chimney Flashing: an improper installation or a lack of maintenance could be the culprit here. Since flashing is made up of several metal parts, they can shift over time as a result of heating and roof expansion. Flashing can be maintained with wire brushing, painting and soldering followed by a simple application of silicone and sealant. An improperly installed flashing will need to be taken out and reinstalled.
- Gutters and Corbel Slopes: It is a good idea to check your gutters for old leaves or standing water. If they are not pitched properly, the rainwater will not drain. If there are gaps at the roofline then water will also leak down into the corbel slopes. If these slopes are not properly maintained, water will be able to leak through the brick into your home.
- Ice Damming: If there has been a resent snow or frost then you might also want to check out the edges of the shingling. Snow can melt, refreeze and back up underneath the shingles causing a leak into your home.
- Ground Level Water: If you have a broken connector pipe underground then you can isolate and fix this problem by filling the down spouts. Intense heat as well can shrink the earth and cause a lot of cracks in the foundation as well so when the rain does come, it has easy access.
- Shingles and Bricks: In general always check the shingles to your house. Constant exposure to a rubbing tree branch or to other rodents making homes beneath it can cause more rapid deterioration and more leaks. Bricks can also be severely damaged from over exposure to the elements which makes them much more fragile and susceptible to water leakage.
Hopefully, these different areas will be a starting point for you in finding the source of your water leak. I would be glad to help with any chimney repairs that need to be done. Call me at 610-626-2439 any time to schedule an appointment.