A leaky chimney is about more than just an inconvenience; water can damage delicate interior fireplace components, lead to mold or mildew growth, and even compromise the structural integrity of your chimney. Whether dampness in the firebox, rust on the damper, or the tell-tale drip drip of a leak, having your chimney leak repaired as soon as possible is the best way to keep your fireplace system running safely and efficiently.
What causes chimney leaks?
- Chimneys are complex structures with a number of different components; this means that there can be a number of different places for water to get in. Below are three of the most common causes for water entry and chimney leaks.
- Chimney cap: Sitting at the top of the chimney, the metal chimney cap prevents water, animals, and debris from getting into the chimney. If damaged – or missing entirely – the top of the flue is left unprotected. Chimney caps that are too large or too small can also leave gaps or holes where water can get in.
- Chimney crown: The chimney crown is the stone or cement slab that seals around the flue and on which the chimney cap sits. Because of it’s location, the chimney crown is particularly exposed to moisture and the elements; chips and cracks can appear over time and slowly begin leaking water into the chimney.
- Flashing: Flashing is the waterproof seal that protects the joint between the chimney and the roof. Commonly damaged by overexposure to the elements or improper installation, flashing should be inspected if not reinstalled any time roof repairs are made. Leaky flashing is often mistaken for a leaky roof and can cause damage to beams, ceilings, and walls in your attic and home.
Repairing a leaky chimney
The first – and most important step – in repairing a chimney leak is identifying the cause of the leak. A chimney inspection is often used as a way to evaluate the entire fireplace and chimney system in order to pinpoint the areas of water entry. Once the source of the leak has been identified and repaired, any other areas of water damage in the fireplace system can be repaired. Fixing the source of the leak first prevents further or future damage to the chimney system.
Protecting against future damage
One of the best ways to protect your chimney against future water damaged is by having it waterproofed. During the waterproofing process, a masonry specific water repellent is applied to the masonry; this prevents new water from being absorbed while allowing previously trapped water – along with gas and air – to evaporate. Waterproofing can also be used as a way to slow or stop chimney deterioration caused by water damage.
A leaky chimney should never be ignored. Instead, call the experts at Magic Broom today. Our team of highly trained technicians can identify and repair the source of your chimney leak and get you back to enjoying your fireplace faster.