Have you noticed that your ceiling is looking stained and nasty or even a little saggy in places? How about the wallboard around your chimney? If it is peeling or bubbly, soft around the fireplace, or if the floorboards are weak and not flush with the walls anymore, then it’s a pretty safe bet that your chimney has developed a leak which can be a big problem. You can see what the damage is to the interior of your house, but that’s only a part of the issue. The bigger problem is the parts you can’t see, the damage to your chimney. That’s the part that is causing the damage that is visible on the inside of your home. This type of damage needs to be discovered and repaired before it gets any worse.
There are many different things that can cause a chimney to leak. For one thing, if you take a look at your roof, you’ll notice at the base of the chimney that there are some metal strips. These strips are designed to keep precipitation out of your home in the place where it’s most likely to leak in: the intersection where two distinct parts meet. If these strips are loose or torn, then it will be easier for precipitation to sneak in.
Another part of the chimney that could be causing leaks is the chimney crown. The chimney crown is a concrete piece that sits at the very top of your chimney. It is designed to have sloped sides and to overhang the edge of the chimney by two inches so that precipitation will run off the slope and further away from the intersection of roof and chimney. This, in combination with the flashing, is double protection from leaks due to precipitation. If your chimney crown is cracked or chipped, it could not be functioning as designed, and that could cause leaks.
You may be wondering what keeps precipitation out of the opening of the chimney. That would be your chimney cap. The chimney cap is an add-on section that sits atop your chimney crown. It is like a sloped roof over the opening which directs precipitation to the chimney crown. This is a great added protection to your chimney system.
Now that winter is here, a big cause of chimney damage is the freeze-thaw cycle. Mortar is a porous material, and when precipitation falls, it gets into the pores and sets there. When the weather freezes, that precipitation freezes and expands, causing those pores to expand as well. This gives more room for more precipitation, and the cycle continues until the very structure of your chimney is damaged. This can cause leaks to occur.
What to Do
If you have seen signs of leakage in your home, or if you are worried about the structure of your chimney, give Owens Chimney Systems a call and set up an appointment for us to come and inspect your chimney. We are qualified to take care of any repairs you need taken care of!