Water is the chimney’s biggest enemy. A leaky chimney can cause costly interior and exterior damage. They are often a symptom of issues with your chimney cap, crown, mortar joints, brick, or flashing. The good news is, if issues are caught early, they can be easily and affordably repaired. The bad news, if they are neglected too long, major issues can be costly to repair.
Typical Causes Chimney Leaks:
A missing or damaged chimney cap or cover
Not having a proper cover on your chimney means rain has easy access to the chimney. A good cover is like a roof over a house, it keeps out rain that can deteriorate the chimney flue. Repairing or replacing your flue is much more expensive than fixing a chimney cap. Additionally, a chimney cap helps prevent animals, birds, bees, and other debris from getting in and blocking the chimney in a way that could cause a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
A damaged or poorly built crown or chase cap
The crown is the very top part of your chimney. It prevents rain and snow from entering your home, and is usually made up of concrete. When cracks form in the crown, water can get into those cracks and cause damage to the chimney. Small cracks are not uncommon and can be treated to avoid them becoming bigger ones. Bigger ones can either be repaired or the crown can be replaced with a newer one if needed.
Receding mortar joints or spalling brick
Brick and mortar are very absorptive. If damaged, they can retain water that can freeze and thaw in the winter that results in damage that causes leaks in the chimney or house. If issues with the mortar or bricks, it’s best to consult a chimney professional on these best course of action. Simply waterproofing the bricks yourself may cause more harm than good. The right course of action may be to use a special sealant or replacing the damaged material.
Damaged or poorly installed flashing
Chimney flashing creates a waterproof seal to protect your chimney from water damage. It keeps water from entering at the place where the bricks meet the roof. If the flashing is missing or deteriorated, water from rain or snow can get into the hole and damage the chimney or roof structure. Depending on the situation, to fix the flashing it can be repaired or replaced.
To have your chimney inspected by calling the Chimney Safety Guys at Potomac Services today!
704-444-5155 (Northern VA) 540-685-1007 (Roanoke, VA)