Water leaks through the chimney can cause big problems in the home. After the past couple of weeks of rainstorms, I went out to the back of the yard to take a look at some of the damage it caused to the trees. It certainly was a swamp in the back as I even saw a full-grown turtle, about 6” in diameter mulling about. Something that big must mean I now have a fully functional swamp. As I stood there admiring the turtle, I looked up at my neighbor’s home to find the chimney questionable. It prompted me to wonder if there was a water leak in their home. Here’s why.
Chimney Water Leaks
Water is magical. When there is a water leak in the home, it can be a challenge to find where it originated. All that water needs are the smallest openings possible for it to enter the home and begin its travels. The water can stay near its source, or it can grab on to a piece of wood and travel the length of it, or maybe catch on to a pipe and travel even further away from its source. Let’s discuss some of the ways water can enter the chimney if it is not sealed properly.
Most Common Ways Water Leaks Through the Chimney
- Chimney Cap – The chimney cap serves as a barrier at the top of the chimney. The chimney cap must be on straight and secured on all sides of the chimney termination. This keeps rain water from directly entering the chimney. The guards pattern on all four sides of the chimney cap keeps debris and small animals out of the chimney itself. Every chimney needs a chimney cap for the same reasons every home needs a roof!
- Chimney Crown – The chimney crown is made from concrete and deters water away from the chimney termination. It is critical to keep the chimney crown in good condition, meaning free from cracks as these are perfect areas for water to enter into the home.
- Mortar Joints – The mortar joints in between bricks or stone deteriorates over time. If there are cracks or missing pieces of mortar, this is a key area for water to enter.
- Bricks – Bricks are porous just like the mortar. If the bricks are constantly moist, say for instance, the bricks are in the shade a lot and never get a chance to dry out,theyt can absorb enough water to start a leak inside the home.
- Flashing – Flashing is the material used in order to protect the area where the chimney protrudes out of the roofing system. If the flashing seal or the flashing itself isn’t properly sealed, is cracked or is missing, then water will easily and quickly enter the home.
- Chimney Liner – If the chimney flue isn’t venting properly, condensation quickly builds up and the water leak comes from inside the chimney.
Chimney Leak Repairs
Repairing any one of the six chimney leaks needs to be done by a certified chimney technician. All certified chimney technicians at Superior Chimney are able to inspect, evaluate and recommend a solution that best fits your chimneys needs.
Chimney leak repairs can be avoided by scheduling regular chimney inspections…even if you don’t use your fireplace, it is an integral part of the exterior home structure that still has the need to be kept up. It’s not the gas fireplace or wood burning fireplace that cause repairs, it’s the natural deterioration that occurs outside with rain, wind and snow along with the rising and falling temperatures.
Superior Chimney provides a complete 14-point inspection with every chimney sweep. At each step of the way, we provide photographs so you can see for yourself the condition of the chimney. It’s an important service to provide as taking close up pictures of the chimney is a great way for you to ‘see’ first hand the condition of the chimney. We’ll work to explain what we’ve evaluated and provide you feedback on each point.
If everything looks great, we’ll let you know along with areas for improvement. These are things that you can do to increase the life of your chimney.
If you’re ready for a chimney 14-point inspection to ensure water stays on the outside, contact us today at 877-244-6349. We’ll get you scheduled and ready to take the weather elements head on!