Our customers at Owens Chimney Systems have heard us say many times that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has named water as the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. Preventing chimney leaks is one of the most important jobs we do as chimney professionals because these leaks can cause a lot of expensive damage to your chimney and your home.
Many times, a leak appears to be coming from above at or near the fireplace, and the instinct is to call a roofer, since the roof is supposed to prevent leaks and the roof is in contact with the chimney. However, chimney leaks often occur in many places, and it is important to have specific knowledge about chimneys to find what is causing the leak and what is the best way to fix it given the standards for chimneys, heat, and venting. These leaks can be difficult to pinpoint, which is why you need our CSIA-certified chimney technicians to inspect your chimney to find and repair the leak. We do want to share with you the main causes of chimney leaks so that you can help us narrow down the location of your leak. If you have water leaking in and around your chimney, call a chimney professional, not a roofer, and here are a few common areas where leaks can develop for chimneys.
Damaged chimney cap or crown
Located at the top of your chimney, the chimney cap is there to keep water out of your chimney. If you have a masonry chimney, you probably also have a chimney crown that covers the chimney opening and protects the chimney from water penetration. If either your cap or crown is cracked or damaged in another way, water from rain and melted snow will be able to get in through these cracks and gaps. Owens Chimney Systems can repair both of these damaged parts. We sell and install a wide variety of chimney caps, and we can construct a new chimney crown if your crown is damaged beyond repair.
The area where your chimney meets your roof is one of the most common places for chimney leaks, which is why you need a customized flashing system to protect this vulnerable area. A flashing system is made up of metal sheets that are layered and wrapped around the chimney at the roof. Our technicians at Owens Chimney Systems will take precise measurements to cut the metal sheets in the correct size, and we will provide an airtight seal that will be flexible enough to allow both the chimney and the roof to expand and contract without breaking that seal.
Damaged bricks and mortar joints
One of the reasons why water leaks are so damaging is the freeze/thaw process. Masonry materials are porous and absorb water easily. When winter arrives, any trapped water in your bricks and mortar will freeze and expand when the temperature drops below freezing. As this water thaws, it causes the bricks and mortar joints to crack and break apart. This leaves behind holes and cracks that allow even more water to leak into the chimney. Owens Chimney Systems can repair damaged bricks and mortar joints, and then we can apply a waterproofing formula that will protect your masonry chimney from water penetration and will prevent this freeze/thaw damage from happening in the future.
If you suspect you have a chimney leak, contact us at Owens Chimney Systems to schedule a chimney inspection. Our CSIA-certified chimney experts can find the leak, repair it, and prevent future leaks from occurring.