Dealing With A Leaky Chimney? 5 Possible Causes

How to Prevent Chimney Fires: Summer Cleaning
March 3, 2016

Dealing With A Leaky Chimney? 5 Possible Causes

With the unpredictable Kansas weather and all of the rain we have seen, you may have noticed some leaks around your chimney. There are many causes for chimney leaks. Most of the time a roof leak around a chimney is not the roof – it’s the chimney. All of our certified technicians are specifically trained to know what to look for to SOLVE your leaky chimney issues.

#1 Missing Chimney Cover

Without a chimney cap, it makes sense that rain could go straight into the chimney. A chimney cap does more than just keep the rain out. It will also keep out animals, birds, and debris; some animals have been known to make their nests in chimneys. Keeping your chimney clean and free of debris is important for many reasons. If your chimney becomes blocked due to debris, it could cause you or your family to become sick or even die from carbon monoxide poisoning. It can also cause a fire in your chimney that can cause a dangerous situation for your home.

#2 Leaks from the Chimney Flashing

Chimney flashing around the base of a chimney prevents water from entering a building. The flashing closes the gap between the chimney and roof and keeps water from leaking in between. Over time, the seal on the flashing or the flashing itself can wear out and need repair or replacement.

#3 Cracks in the Chimney Crown

The chimney crown (also known as the chimney wash) is the concrete part on top of a chimney. It covers and seals the top of the chimney from the flue liner to the chimney edge. Sometimes, these are made of mortar, which is not designed for this application and fails most of the time. The purpose of the concrete crown is to keep rain out. Over time, cracks can occur allowing the water to go right into your chimney. We recommend a reinforced concrete crown with a bond-break, drip edge, and expansion joint on every masonry chimney. If your chimney has siding on it, we recommend something called a chase cover that is designed for this application. We install chase covers constructed of galvanized steel, stainless steel, and copper.

#4 Leaking Bricks

Water will pass through bricks and mortar. Freezing and thawing through the winter and then a rainy spring can cause all kinds of chimney leaks. A Masonry Absorption Test (MAT) can help to determine if your bricks or mortar are the cause of your leaks and if they need to be waterproofed with specialty sealants.

#5 Loose Knots and Cracks in Wood Siding

If your house has wood siding, knots and cracks in the wood can allow water to get behind the siding and leak into the chimney. Having one of our certified technicians come check for leaks and ensure that your chimney is properly sealed can help.

If you are dealing with a leaky chimney, call us at 816-471-4435 and schedule an appointment for an inspection. After we determine the cost of the leak, we can discuss repair options and determine what is best for you.