That Roof Leak Might be a Chimney Leak
Many houses have problems with their chimneys that turn out to be water leakage. Evidence for this problem includes water running down the flue, water running down the brickwork in the attic or inside the house, or the exposed chimney gets damp and deposits of white lime form on the outside of the brick. If you think your roof is having leaking problems, and you can’t find the problem, scrutinize your chimney as well because you may have a chimney leak. If the signs are ignored, water can profusely leak inside your house and can cause a great deal of damage to your property.
How we fix your leaking chimney:
- Check each part of the chimney, both inside and outside of the home. Evidence of water is easily detected inside the house through stains or swollen walls. Look carefully to see more signs of leaking water. Check the exterior chimney of all its parts. Check the chimney wash / splay (the top portion of the chimney) for cracks or deterioration.
- Inspect the mortar and flashing. Spalled brick and missing mortar can cause water leakage as well. Check the flashing to see if it is properly installed. (The chimney flashing is the part that connects the chimney to the roof) Look to see if it is inadequate, corroded or worn.
- A masonry chimney wash /splay that is cracked should be repaired or replaced with new materials. In replacing the wash / splay, make sure to also put a waterproof covering on the surface.
- If your chimney is the masonry type, cover all surfaces with a waterproof coating. Apply commercial quality waterproof material to avoid wasting time and money.
- If the problem is the flashing, hire a professional chimney expert to do the job.
Water is notorious for causing damage you cannot see. It’s the hidden damage from moisture that can cause chimneys to crack, seep, and even fall down altogether. This is especially true after a major event such as a lightning strike or tornado where unknown weaknesses have gone unnoticed. However, there are ways to avoid moisture related damage.
- Find all the places near your fireplace and chimney where water likes to “hang-out.”
- Clear leaves from gutters on a regular basis, and repair any gutters that are broken. Examine your downspout locations in relation to the chimney. Downspout terminations that are uphill of the chimney, or that drain at the chimney base, pose risks and should therefore be diverted.
- Prune trees that hang over or near your chimney. Rain and dew that collects on trees is a frequent cause of masonry deterioration.
- Check for poor drainage and address this problem as soon as possible.
- Repair any leaks in the flashing (or seal) between your roofing material and the chimney.
- Make sure sprinklers are watering plants – not your chimney. Change the sprinkler head or your watering pattern as needed.