Do you notice water dripping into your fireplace every time it rains? Have you seen a water spot form on the ceiling or wall close to your chimney? This usually means that you have a chimney leak in your home. If left unchecked, even the smallest leak can result in huge amounts of damage. The first step in preventing and repairing leaks is learning what causes them. Here are five of the most common culprits for a leaking chimney.
No Chimney Cap
The chimney cap plays a vital role in protecting your chimney; it goes on top of the opening and prevents rain, snow, and sleet from falling directly into your fireplace. Without it, your home and chimney are extremely vulnerable to the elements. If water is allowed to flow freely into your chimney, you can experience all sorts of issues, including the damper rusting and the chimney rapidly deteriorating. To protect your chimney and your home, purchase and install a cap for your chimney today.
Cracked Chimney Crown
The cement piece located at the top of the chimney is known as the chimney crowns. Its function is to prevent water from entering the space between the masonry and the flue lining. If, however, the crown is cracked or damaged, it will be unable to perform its duty and moisture will enter the chimney. The longer a cracked chimney crown is left untreated, the worse it will become. The crack can expand, making it much more difficult to repair and allowing even more water to enter the chimney. If you catch the fracture when it is still small, you fix it and prevent any serious damage.
Water-based condensation is another common reason for chimney leaks. The fumes produced by gas fireplaces contain moisture. This causes condensation to form in the flue. The moisture is then absorbed by the bricks, which can result in leaks and other types of damage. Condensation also builds in the flue during the summer when the cold air from inside your home meets the hot air from outside.
At the point where the chimney meets the roof, contractors place flashing. This is meant to create a waterproof seal to keep moisture out of the home and prevent leaks in the chimney and attic. Though flashing is usually made of durable aluminum, it can still become damaged over time. This is the most common cause of chimney leaks. Alternatively, if the contractor did not place enough flashing during installation, a leak may develop.
Cracked or Soggy Brick and Mortar
Bricks and mortar can also absorb water when it rains. If the water freezes and thaws while inside these materials, it can cause them to crack. This, in turn, leads to leaking. Additionally, if your chimney is in the shade, the mortar and bricks may never dry completely after rain. Over time, they can get soggy and cause water to enter your home. In this case, you may need to repair the chimney and replace any pieces that have been damaged.
For more information on chimney repair, contact Findlay Roofing today at (770) 516-5806!