There Are Multiple Ways to Prevent a Leaky Chimney & Our Team Can Help With it All
As CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, we can never educate homeowners enough about the dangers of excess moisture and chimney leak damage. If you spot water or water damage in or on your chimney, then getting to the root of the problem (and fast) is a must.
Even if it’s not burning season, recognizing and addressing water-related problems in your fireplace or chimney is not something to put off — as these problems only get worse and worse the longer they’re ignored. So keep an eye out for water damage, and if you see something concerning, give us a call!
Signs of a Chimney Leak
Now, sometimes chimney leaks are obvious (e.g., you actually see a pool of water in your fireplace), but other times the signs are a lot more subtle. It’s important to keep your senses alert, so that you can get the care you need as soon as possible. Noting signs early could wind up saving you a lot of time and money later on!
Some less-obvious issues that might indicate a leak is present include the following:
- Crumbling Brickwork: There are a lot of reasons why your brickwork and mortar may be deteriorating, but the biggest cause is typically water-related issues. If you spot cracks or other damage and deterioration throughout your masonry, schedule an inspection right away.
- Rusted Metal Components: Water and rust go hand-in-hand, so if your chimney cap, damper, or flashing is starting to rust, then it’s likely that you have water pooling somewhere it shouldn’t be.
- A Damaged Chimney Crown: Your crown plays an enormous role in sending water off and away from the sides of your masonry chimney. Unfortunately, crowns are often constructed poorly or with a weaker mortar mix, which makes them more vulnerable to water absorption and breakdown. If your chimney is water-damaged and your brick is crumbling, the crown could be the culprit. So keep an eye on both your crown and your masonry.
- Rotting Woodwork: Wood won’t rot without at least some exposure to moisture. So if you have a wood-framed chimney and it’s rotting in places or the wood in your attic near your chimney is rotting, consider the possibility that you have a chimney leak.
- Stains On Your Walls/Ceilings: Notice stains on the walls and ceilings near your chimney? Then, there’s probably a leak somewhere. Get someone on the job fast before these unsightly and hard-to-address water spots get any worse.
- Musty/Unpleasant Odors: Bad smells from your chimney don’t necessarily mean you have a leak, but it sure is a likely possibility. Animals, creosote build-up, and mold, are all known for stinking things up, but water makes these smells worse. Everyone is familiar with that musty odor that only standing water can produce. If you smell something funky, don’t brush it off! Schedule an inspection.
- Poor Airflow: Water is really good at binding debris together and causing clogs in your flue. So it’s not uncommon for leaks and bad airflow to go hand-in-hand. If you’re noticing drafting issues, then consider the role water may be playing in the equation.
When it Comes to Avoiding Leaks, Preventive Maintenance Is Key!
If all of your leak-related issues are resolved and you want to ensure they don’t occur again anytime soon, then preventive maintenance is key. What services do we suggest investing in?
Well the first is waterproofing. By calling in experienced sweeps to apply waterproofing products and water repellents to your chimney, you’re guaranteed years of added protection. On the other hand, a masonry system without this protective seal will certainly face extensive damage from water with time.
The other big thing we suggest is ensuring your chimney cap is properly installed. Chimney caps are the metal components that sit over the top of your flue opening, and we’re sure you can imagine all the things that might enter if one isn’t properly fitted. It may seem like a simple and unnecessary “accessory,” but it plays a big role in your system’s overall structural integrity and longevity. Ask about having a custom cap installed today. Our pros will take care of it for you.
Is That Drip, Drip, Drip Setting Off Alarm Bells? Give Us a Call
If you know water is present in your chimney and you can’t stop worrying about the damage that could be occurring, why wait any longer? Our team is here and ready to take your call, and we promise to do everything possible to get your system back in tip-top shape. Dial 207-302-0018 or click here to request an appointment online.