Leaky Roof or Leaky Chimney?


Determining whether water is getting in through the roof or the chimney can be tricky. The blame game gets misplayed both ways, with chimney leaks blamed on roofs and vice versa. In most cases, though, roof leaks occur where things like chimneys and other vents go through them.

Roof or Chimney Leak? - New Haven CT - Total Chimney Care

If the stain on your ceiling or walls is near the fireplace, a good inspection of the chimney is the place to begin. If your chimney crown looks like it could be the culprit due to cracks or improper construction, that is worth checking out. Place a temporary ‘water trap’ on top of it and see if that solves the problem for the next heavy rain.

If keeping water from the crown prevents the leak, the next thing to determine is why the crown is admitting water. If no visible damage is evident, its faulty construction is probably to blame, since improperly designed crowns are common. They need to direct water out and away, overhang the chase by a sufficient margin, and have a drip-guard beveled underside.

If the fault does not appear to lie with the crown, a careful inspection of the chase’s brick and mortar is next. Brick is porous and, over time, it deteriorates simply from constant exposure to water. The fact is that no material is impervious to water and time. This, too, can be checked with a garden hose, but it is complicated and time-consuming and requires at least two people.

By far the easiest way to determine if any part of the chimney is to blame is to have it checked by a CSIA certified sweep. Given the importance of catching leaks early to preserve the integrity of the chimney, the expense of a proper inspection is small. Whether you end up blaming the roof or the chimney, stopping the leak should be the end of all the games.

By on April 21st, 2013| Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment