Fireplaces are designed to contain heat from a roaring fire – the last thing you want to see in your fireplace is water! The presence of water in your fireplace or chimney can indicate that there is a leak somewhere in your chimney system. Likewise, water can quickly cause damage and deterioration to your entire chimney and fireplace system.
A leaky chimney is more than just a minor annoyance. Have your leaky chimney repaired as soon as possible to avoid long term damage to your fireplace and chimney system.
What causes chimney leaks?
Because chimneys are complex structures, there are a number of places where a leak might be caused. At Jack Pixley Sweeps, our technicians are highly trained to find the source of the leak before water damage gets worse. The following are some of the most common causes of chimney leaks.
Chimney cap: Chimney caps, also known as rain covers, are designed to protect the top of the chimney against animals, debris, and water. Without a chimney cap, water from rain, ice, and snow can freely enter your chimney, damaging the interior and exterior of your chimney system.
Chimney crown: The chimney crown seals the top of the chimney around the flue as well as protects the masonry of the chimney structure. If a chimney crown is damaged, incorrectly sized, or improperly installed it can cause a variety of chimney leaks. Crowns built without a proper overhang, for example, allow water to flow directly onto the bricks of the chimney; this, in turn, causes the masonry to crack and spall, allowing more and more water in. Likewise, cracks in the chimney crown can also let water into the chimney and create leaks.
Flashing: Flashing is the watertight strip that connects the masonry of the chimney with the rest of the roofline. Flashing can easily be installed incorrectly, especially when put in by inexperienced roofers. Likewise, even correctly installed flashing can be damaged due to animals, exposure, or settling.
Without watertight flashing, homeowners may notice water leaks or stains on the walls or ceilings around the chimney structure. Many homeowners mistakenly believe it is their roof leaking when it fact the flashing has simply lost its watertight seal.
Preventing leaky chimneys
The best thing you can do to prevent a chimney leak is to have a chimney sweep and inspection performed each year. This annual maintenance ensures that your chimney remains in top condition and any damage can be fixed quickly and easily before turning into a major issue.
In addition to regular annual maintenance, homeowners can also have their masonry waterproofed. Our waterproofing products are specifically designed for use on masonry, keeping moisture out while still allowing gas to pass through.
If you are experiencing a chimney leak, don’t delay – contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today! Our expert staff can find and repair the source of the leak and get you back to enjoying your fireplace faster!