It is best to prepare ahead of time and get done with chimney repair and maintenance before the cold breeze hits you. Your chimney goes through extensive wear and tear (bearing harsh weather) all year round, which results in issues like leaking around the chimney.
With timely annual chimney inspections, you can save money before the repairs elevate and cost much more. Read on to learn the 13 most common causes of chimney leaks and ways you can temporarily maintain them.
13 Reasons Why Your Chimney Is Leaking
Missing Chimney Cap
The absence of a cap makes your chimney and your home vulnerable at the hands of nature. External situations like rain, snow days, or sleet can fall right inside your house through it. With moisture, expect damages in places like the damper or deterioration in the chimney flue.
Other than that, the leaves may blow in, resulting in chimney obstruction or, worse, a fire. If you ignite a fire in your blocked chimney fireplace, toxic fumes spread around your house, causing carbon monoxide poisoning.
Worn Out Mortar and Masonry
Usually, the masonry lasts around a century, given it maintains the distance from moisture. However, the mortar between its masonry only lasts for 25 years approx, that too in ideal conditions.
Mortar replacement is necessary when it’s longer functioning to keep the moisture out of your chimney. If moisture seeps into the masonry, it will start the freeze and thaw cycles during winter leading to the masonry face falling off.
Leaks From Chiney Within – Condensation Issue
The phenomenon of “Chimney Sweating” is damp bricks and mortar. You know what condensation is, the presence of dew on the window inside on a cold day; this is exactly that. There is no need to fret about it since it is a normal process.
There are times when the heat from your fire is not enough to evaporate water. In that case, the water stays in the chimney and is absorbed by the porous bricks. And then, the same cycle of freeze and thaw starts.
Leaking Bricks Defect
Porous bricks make up the chimneys making water absorption a top-priority risk. When this happens, freeze/thaw cycles start causing cracks in the brick and leaking around and inside the chimney.
Dingy Chimney Shoulder
Your chimney narrows where the masonry is, turning it into a slope that can feature ledges preventing water from draining away from the bricks and stones.
Roofing Nails or Tar
High winds or accidental pulling of the roofing nails can result in leaks around the chimney. If the shingles lift and expose the nails, they will start rusting. Even a single rusted nail can make your roof leak whenever it rains.
Chimney Crown Crack
You can find the chimney crown on top. It resists moisture and prevents entry between the flue lining and the masonry.
In the case of a crown crack, water gets in to cause damage. You can get rid of small cracks before moisture causes enormous damage.
Chimney flashing is where your chimney and rooftop meet to form a waterproof seal keeping moisture out.
It is usually of aluminum and not as durable. That is why flashing is a common reason for a leaky chimney.
Cracks in the wood siding or knots let water through to cause troubles like mold growth.
Top Pan Leak
The metal top pan is not that sturdy and lacks durability. Water accumulates there, and the metals rust because of that. So, ensure your top pan is free from cracks or spaces in between.
Inaccurate Chimney Liners
Chimney liners in the flue direct the smoke out of your fireplace. To make that happen, the liner size should be according to the structure it’s covering. Large flue makes gasses condensate and substantial moisture build up.
Your chimney may have water pooling if it’s on a downward slope; from that place, the water can peek into bricks and mortar, causing serious damage and deterioration of your chimney.
You can install a chimney cricket to deal with this. It is a small peaky roof placed on the backside of your chimney to deflect water away.
Prepare your fireplace or wood stove for the winter beforehand. You can set up a chimney inspection with our experts at Brusher’s Chimney. We offer the most affordable chimney repair in Houston, TX. Call us at (346) 803-2981 to connect with us.