6 Common Causes of Chimney Leaks
Chimneys may be pretty much out of sight, but it can be costly and dangerous for them to be completely out of mind. It is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that chimneys be inspected every year, to ensure that they are safe to use. Maintaining a chimney is important, to avoid dangerous chimney fires or exposure to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning; but it is also wise to consider the cost of repairs.
When damage and deterioration are dealt with as early as possible, the scope of needed reparation and the price tag that goes along with it can be minimized. One of the things a chimney technician is searching for in an inspection is evidence of a leaky chimney, which is a common problem that can cause a great deal of damage. The following are six of the most common causes of chimney leaks.
One. There is no chimney cap.
Rain, snow, hail, and other unwelcome things can go into your chimney without hindrance if there is no chimney cap or chimney topper to keep them out. A variety of troublesome issues result from having an open chimney, such as a clogged flue, which can cause toxic gases like carbon monoxide to enter the living area of the home. Of course, when rain gets in, the result can be chimney leaks. Having a chimney cap professionally installed may be all that is needed to resolve the problem, if moisture damage has not been extensive. A chimney cap can be one of the most cost-effective solutions to chimney leaks.
Two. The flashing is damaged or faulty.
The flashing is an important part of the chimney; it is what provides a watertight connection between the roof and the chimney. Flashing is not as durable as chimney masonry, and many homeowners don’t realize it. They often neglect the flashing, which is one reason it can cause chimney leaks. Another reason is that flashing is tricky to install, and the initial waterproofing achieved by the builders often fails.
Three. Damaged bricks and mortar.
Masonry typically lasts about a century, but mortar joints only last about 25 years, at most. When the mortar begins to deteriorate, the masonry is exposed to moisture. The result is that the freezing and thawing that occurs in winter causes the face of the masonry to pop off. In addition to causing the chimney to leak, the structural integrity of the entire chimney can be compromised.
Four. The chimney crown is damaged.
The chimney crown seals the top edges of the chimney, preventing water from getting between the chimney mortar and the flue. If the crown becomes cracked, moisture can get in and cause extensive moisture damage.
Five. The top pan on a chimney chase is leaking.
A chimney chase is built a bit differently from masonry chimneys. They have a metal top pan that often becomes damaged. The water will pool up, causing the metal to rust, which results in a leaky chimney.
Six. Damaged wood siding on a chimney chase.
If wood siding is installed on the chimney chase, it’s possible that knots in the wood will come off or come loose. When this happens, water can easily get behind the wood siding, which results in a chimney leak.
Call our certified chimney professionals today for an assessment of your chimney or for help determining the source of a chimney leak.