A leaky chimney is a major inconvenience to any homeowner, but it’s not as much of an inconvenience as an untreated leaky chimney. Choosing to ignore a leaking chimney can cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), most homeowners are under the impression that chimneys are safe from weather and water damage. Unfortunately, this is not true. Masonry chimneys, constructed from brick, mortar, concrete block, stone, flue tile, steel, and cast iron, are especially susceptible to water damage. So, what are the common causes of a leaky chimney?
Missing or Damaged Chimney Cap
Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of a leaky chimney is a chimney that didn’t have a chimney cap to begin with. Additionally, a chimney with a damaged cap is also incredibly common. Chimney caps are crucial to keeping not only rain out but also squirrels, birds, and debris. If a chimney gets backed up with these materials, smoke can enter your home and cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If the cause of your chimney leak is a missing or damaged chimney cap, interior and exterior deterioration can occur.
Cracked Chimney Crown
The chimney crown is the cement slab located at the top of the chimney. The main purpose of this part of the chimney is to prevent rain and snow from damaging the integrity of the chimney. Cracks in the chimney crown form over time. Shifting of the structure, shrinkage, water freezes, and thawing are all known to cause cracks in the crown. No matter the size of the cracks in the crown, these cracks should be treated immediately. Crown coating materials can cover smaller cracks up, but larger cracks could mean the masonry needs to be replaced.
Worn Out Brick and Mortar Joints
The brick and mortar joints are one of the most vulnerable parts of the chimney due to the stress they endure from weather conditions. These joints are known to split and become damaged when they have taken on stress. Water is one of the most common factors that impact brick and mortar joints. The moisture can seep into the bricks and joints and cause damage to one’s home. The best ways to combat this are through waterproofing and chimney tuckpointing.
The chimney flashing is the area where the chimney comes through the roof. This area is known to prevent debris and other unwanted materials from getting in between the roof and the chimney. When flashing is installed, it is usually done with aluminum and is sealed with a waterproof sealant. However, it is not uncommon for the sealant to erode over time and allow the passage of moisture to seep in. If left untreated, major damage can be inflicted to the roof and home.
The final and perhaps least common cause of a leaky chimney is chimney condensation. In rare instances, condensation can occur inside the chimney and leak through. This tends only to be the case when chimneys are converted from wood-burning to gas-burning and are not fitted with the proper chimney liner. Calling a professional to ensure the chimney has the proper liner and replacing it if it does not eliminate this issue.
Chimney Restoration Experts
Contact ASAP Restoration for immediate water damage and roofing restoration. Our team of professional technicians and contractors work diligently to identify the cause of the problem and stop it at the source. We can help with any restoration project, including chimney damage. If your chimney is to blame for your water damage, our team will be there to solve the issue. Contact us for 24-hour water damage restoration services.