How We Find Your Chimney Leak
Nothing’s as comforting as a warm fire on a cold night, and few things are as aggravating as a leaky chimney, which could put an end to your warm fireplace fires. Damaged chimneys often leak, and when the damage is severe, it can become unsafe to use the fireplace.
Let’s look at how we approach chimney leaks and help you to keep your fireplace and chimney running safely and efficiently.
Common sources of chimney leaks
When our CSIA-certified chimney technicians are called out to locate the source of a chimney leak, we know the problem usually stems from certain areas including:
- Damaged bricks and mortar
- Damaged chimney cap
- Damaged concrete chimney crown
- Damaged flashing at the exterior of the chimney, near the chimney base.
A damaged roof can allow water in mimicking signs of a leaky chimney.
Clues that your chimney is leaking
Minor chimney leaks often go unnoticed at first; over time, they usually present signs you can’t miss such as:
- Water in the firebox
- Damp areas on the interior walls and ceiling near the fireplace/chimney
- A strong, musty odor coming from the fireplace
- Efflorescence (white staining) on the exterior chimney masonry – this means water is penetrating the bricks
Finding the leak
When we perform chimney inspections for a leak issue, we’ll quickly zero in on where the water is getting in. Just as important, we’ll determine the extent of the damage (because a water leak can cause problems in areas other than where it originates) and decide on the best way to stop the leak and repair any damage.
Work that’s common in chimney leak repair includes:
- Chimney crown repair or rebuilding
- Chimney cap/chimney chase cover repair or replacement
- Repair of chimney masonry with tuckpointing or brick replacement
- Chimney flashing repair or installation of new flashing.
- Masonry waterproofing to prevent future leaks from occurring.
The value of annual chimney inspections
The best thing you can do for your chimney is to have it inspected once a year by a licensed chimney inspector. You can do periodic visual inspections yourself, but this is not an alternative to a thorough inspection performed by a professional.
Yearly chimney inspections will spot early signs of damage that could lead to serious leaks or other problems. Inspections also look at the general chimney structure, venting efficiency and the serviceability of chimney components such as the cap and crown.
Beyond annual inspections, you should always call out an inspector when:
- Your chimney has been damaged by lightning, hail, high winds or other events
- Smoke isn’t drafting efficiently and is backing up into your house
- You notice crumbling within the exterior masonry or on the floor of your firebox
- Your chimney appears to be leaning to one side
- Hearing noises inside the flue coming from squirrels, birds and other small animals
If your chimney is leaking, the certified experts at Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie, NY, are standing by to help. We’ll find out why you’re experiencing the leak, where the leak originates and what it will take to restore the system to safety and top performance.
Speak with a chimney professional today at (845) 471-1071.