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The Causes of Most Chimney Leaks

If you have a leaky chimney, there are several possible causes. But no matter why it’s leaking, you need to have it inspected and repaired soon.

Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola, FL, and Destin, FL, would like to share some helpful information about chimney leaks and the best way to resolve the problems.

chimney cap repairs and installations in okalossa flWhat is a “chimney leak”?

We generally define a “chimney leak” as any situation in which water is getting into a chimney system. The water can come from the top, the sides or at the base next to the roof. No matter the starting point, water and chimneys don’t mix, and the problem must be addressed.

The four most common causes of chimney leaks

In no particular order, here they are.

Open chimney top

Without a proper chimney cap or at least a flue cover, the top of a chimney is wide open for rain to pour right in. Water inside the chimney flue can cause damage to:

  • The chimney liner that’s in place to help smoke draft well and keep flames, smoke and carbon monoxide from escaping
  • The fireplace damper, which is susceptible to rust
  • The firebox, including all surfaces and panels

Have a chimney cap installed to solve this leaky chimney problem. If you have a damaged cap, get it repaired.

Damaged masonry

Cracked bricks will absorb large amounts of water, leading to serious decay. The same with old, crumbly mortar joints. Brick deterioration can cause a chimney to lean dangerously to one side; it can also cause it to eventually collapse.

Leaky bricks are prime areas for mold growth, both within the bricks and inside the chimney structure. Mold spreads, and if unchecked, it can spread throughout the house.

Solutions for damaged, leaky masonry include:

  • Brick replacement
  • Tuckpointing to repair crumbling mortar
  • Partial or complete rebuilding
  • Applying a strong water repellant

Damaged chimney crown

Chimney crowns are concrete slabs at the top of the chimney that shield the inside of the chimney structure from water and debris. Concrete is prone to cracking over time, and little leaks will become big leaks if the problem is ignored.

Water coming in through a broken crown can result in damage to the chimney liner, interior masonry and nearby materials of the home. It can also cause a massive growth of mold that nobody sees.

Leaky chimney crowns can be patched and water-sealed. Crowns with significant damage should be rebuilt.

chimney flashing repairs in pensacola flChimney flashing issues

Flashing is the material that seals the gap between the roof and the chimney. Its job is to keep water from running down into the home and along the exterior chimney masonry below the roof.

Flashing can become warped and unseated. It can also be damaged by rust. In all cases, compromised flashing must be repaired or replaced before water causes major damage below the roof and possibly to the roof itself.

Solving your leaky chimney problem

Doodlebuggers specializes in finding out exactly why chimneys are leaking and then performing the right repairs to solve the problem. We’re here to stop major damage before it gets started and keep your chimney running safely and efficiently.

Reach a chimney expert today at (850) 477-1151 in Pensacola, FL, or (850) 243-0154 in the Destin, FL, area. You can also get in touch with our handy contact form.

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