Spring’s wet weather is often a welcome sight after months of snow and cold temperatures but, unfortunately, it can bring with it some unexpected (and unpleasant) surprises. One of these is chimney leaks. If you notice water spots forming on your ceiling, peeling wallpaper, warping wallboard, water dripping into your home from above, water in your firebox, or fireplace rust, don’t rush to blame your roof! Often, when water is coming in from above, it’s your chimney that’s to blame.
Learn more about the causes of leaks and water damage below, then count on the team here at Total Chimney Care to provide the top-notch care and high-quality services you deserve. We’re here and ready to help!
A Missing or Damaged Chimney Cap
Chimney caps are essential when it comes to keeping water out of your chimney. These devices cover your chimney’s exterior opening ensuring water doesn’t flow down the chimney flue and wreak havoc. Along with this, caps are known for preventing debris build-up, animal entry, and downdrafts, and they are great at stopping stray sparks from landing on your roof, too. Unfortunately, builder-grade chimney caps can fail within a few years, and even the sturdiest of chimney caps can get blown off or damaged during bad weather.
On the bright side, addressing a broken chimney cap is not a complicated matter – simply have a professional replace the unit! Caps are typically quite affordable, and the protection they offer is unparalleled. If you need yours repaired or replaced, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team right away.
Cracked Chimney Crown or Chase Cover
Constructed from a cement-based mixture, chimney crowns play a big role in protecting your masonry chimney. They sit on the top of your chimney and extend from the inner edge of your flue to the exterior edges of your chimney masonry. They are designed to slant downwards, which ensures any water coming down flows out and away from both the inside of the chimney and its outside masonry walls.
Now, in a prefabricated chimney, this job is performed by the chase cover. While both crowns and chase covers can provide years of protection when installed correctly and constructed from appropriate materials, both are subject to breaking down over time, which can leave you with some big problems to address.
If you notice any issues, invest in repair work or replacement parts, as needed (and right away). Failing to do so will only cause more damage, and you’ll soon be left with some time-consuming and expensive work to address.
Flashing consists of metal sheets that surround the base of your chimney where it meets the roofline to prevent water coming in through this especially vulnerable spot. It provides a great service, but if it is damaged, rusted, bent, loose, or incorrectly installed, water will gain easy access to your home in a hurry.
If you’ve ruled out other chimney issues, call in our professional crew to inspect the flashing around your chimney. They will make sure it is fitted snugly between the roof and the chimney and that it is free from any damage.
Most masonry damage is due to water penetration. As your porous bricks and mortar joints absorb water, that water can freeze and expand, causing cracking and crumbling. This is known as the freeze/thaw process, and it can lead to major leaks and water penetration that will eventually compromise your chimney’s structure. If you are concerned that your system is deteriorating, address the issue right away before it leads to extensive and costly chimney leaks.
How can you prevent masonry damage from occurring in the first place? Well, the best thing you can do is invest in waterproofing services. The application of specialized waterproofing products applied by a certified professional will guarantee better protection for your structure, and it will block all that water from getting soaked up. At the same time, these waterproofing agents are 100% vapor-permeable, so any moisture already in the masonry can easily evaporate, and gases created by your winter fires can still be exhausted.
What Happens If I Ignore A Leak?
A chimney leak should never be ignored! If left unaddressed, even minor chimney leaks can cause major damage. It is imperative to be on the lookout for signs of chimney leaks this spring. Walk around your chimney and look for cracked or crumbling bricks, crumbling mortar joints, and discoloration. If you’re able, it’s also wise to check the top of your chimney to make sure your chimney cap is firmly in place and that the flashing at the base of the chimney hasn’t pulled away from the chimney or cracked. Inside your home, look for stains on your walls and ceiling near your chimney. A rusted damper or rusting fireplace doors can be a sign of a chimney leak.
The more your structure crumbles, the more prone you are to experience gas leaks, house fires, chimney fires, and more. Don’t take any chances! If you notice any signs of leaks, get in touch with a technician from Total Chimney Care today, Our qualified experts are here for you.