What to Do When Your Chimney Leaks

January 9, 2023

If you notice damp walls or water dripping around your fireplace, it’s likely that you have a chimney leak. As with any leak, chimney leaks need to be dealt with swiftly. Otherwise, you risk a lot more damage to your home, such as mold, rot, or, in the worst case, a collapsing chimney.

Why Your Chimney Is Leaking and How to Fix It

The solution to your leaking chimney will vary depending on the reason why it’s leaking in the first place. Here are a few of the most common reasons why your roof is leaking around the chimney.

Torn Flashing

Metal flashing helps prevent water from getting into the joints where your chimney meets your roof. It can deteriorate over time, exposing joints to water and cause a leaking chimney. You can fix minor cracks in flashing using FlashSeal or another type of flashing repair product. If your flashing is severely damaged or very old, then you should consider replacing it altogether.

Cracks in Mortar Joints and Brick

There are some types of brick that are more porous and likely to leak than others. Too much sand in mortar also causes it to be more absorbent and susceptible to causing a chimney leak. When your chimney doesn’t have any cracks, spray water repellent on your chimney to prevent it from absorbing water and turning into a leak. Mortar repair products can be used for minor cracks in the mortar. But if there are big gaps in your brick and mortar, then you should get it repaired by a professional.

Broken Chimney Crown

A chimney crown, also known as a chimney wash, is used to cover the top opening of your chimney. Ideally, it should be made out of concrete, metal, or stone. However, many are made out of mortar, which is less desirable as mortar is not waterproof and breaks down a lot faster. Damaged chimney crowns are hard to detect unless you are getting your chimney swept or inspected.

If there are minor cracks in your chimney crown, seal it using a crown sealing product like CrownSeal. Minor cracks can quickly turn into more extensive damage, so it’s best to extend the life of your chimney crown by repairing small cracks as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may have to replace your chimney crown altogether. If you don’t already have one, consider getting a chimney cap to go over your chimney crown for more protection.

Bad Valley

It’s possible your chimney may have a poorly designed valley that collects debris and water rather than directing it off your roof. You can rectify a bad valley with a cricket installation. A chimney cricket will prevent water from collecting in the downward slope around your chimney.

Need Help Finding the Source of Your Leak?

The ideal solution to fixing a leak is to find any cracks or minor damages on your roof before you experience any leaking at all. IBEX Roof can help inspect your roof and chimney to get on top of necessary minor repairs before they turn into larger problems.

A small leak can sometimes mean big damage in your roof and finding the source of a leak is usually not an easy task. Damp walls, discoloration on your ceiling, or dripping water are all signs of a leak, and it’s important to find out where the leak is coming from. If you suspect you have a leaking chimney, give IBEX Roof a call and we can help find the source of your leak and help you find the best solution to fix it fast.

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