As a homeowner, you should know that water damage and leaks are the worst problems you can experience. In many cases, by the time you notice water leaking into your property, there’s likely a lot more damage going on inside your walls or roof.
If you see any wet spots on the ceiling or around your fireplace, you might assume that water is coming in from the roof. However, in some instances, the culprit may actually be your chimney. In this article, we’ll tell you the top reasons why your chimney is leaking and what you can do about it.
Rainfall Through the Chimney Cap
One of the most crucial components of any chimney is the cap. This one-piece has to keep the elements out of your fireplace while providing an outlet for smoke and heat. Unfortunately, most chimneys don’t have a full-sized chimney cap to protect the crown of the chimney and most homeowners can’t inspect their chimneys as often as they should because they cannot get to it.
Wind, debris, and animals are the primary causes of chimney cap damage. Fortunately, if that is the culprit, the solution is as simple as installing a new piece. You may need to do some light masonry work to fix the wear and tear depending on the situation of the cap. Be sure to call Ray Arnold Masonry to install your cap correctly.
Cracked Chimney Crown
The chimney crown is made of concrete, which is highly durable but susceptible to cracking. Usually, this occurs as it ages, creating small shifts in the masonry. If you have an older home and you’re not sure when of the crown’s installation date, it could be time for an inspection.
Usually, cracks can be covered and resealed to fix the problem. However, if there is significant damage to the concrete, a new cap may have to be installed.
Cracked or Damaged Flashing
Since brick, when saturated, allows water through, you need to prevent water from flowing through the masonry and into the house. Metal flashing is there to protect your roof from this problem, but it can wear down over time.
Usually, if the flashing is the problem, the sealant used to secure it to the masonry has likely peeled off or cracked. In some cases, the flashing material itself may be damaged. Because the flashing extends beneath the roof tiles, replacing it can be challenging. We can simply reseal the edges if an old sealant causes the leak and it will be as good as new.
When winter arrives, and you start using your fireplace, the inside of the chimney can collect a lot of moisture. This is because of the cold air from outside mixes with the hot air from the fire. Most of this water burns off, while some of it remains. Also, if your flue isn’t sealed very well, the heat from your furnace can create moisture.
Some chimneys won’t leak water from the inside because the flue is a metal liner that goes all the way up, forming a metal barrier between the bricks and the rest of the house. However, if your home is older or you have a more traditional fireplace, it may not have a metal flue. Also, if the metal pieces get damaged or rusted over time, the moisture can leak into the masonry.
If your chimney leaks from the inside condensation, fixing it will be a challenge. However, we can come out and inspect your flue to determine whether that is the cause. In most cases, the leaks are a result of an issue on the exterior of the chimney.
Usually, water flowing over the face of your chimney’s masonry isn’t a problem, as long as the flashing holds on the outside. However, bricks can wear down over time, leading to cracks and crumbling. When this happens, the damage can ripple out, creating other problems.
Whenever the masonry starts to give out, it can become a critical problem if left unchecked. Small cracks will only get worse, particularly during the winter. Water will get in, freeze, and then expand, creating a bigger gap. Also, when it rains, the rainfall can crumble exposed sections, making them weaker.
Call Ray Arnold Masonry Today
Chimney leaks can be a much bigger issue than you might realize. Over time, water damage can lead to mold and structural problems. You need to repair your chimney as soon as possible. Even if you’re not sure where the water is coming in from, we can do a full inspection to find the source. Experience the Ray Arnold Masonry difference for yourself.