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How to Fix a Leaky Chimney

A leaky chimney can cause a devastating amount of damage depending on the nature and the location of the leak. No matter what the issue – cracked masonry, loose or missing flashing, or even a missing chimney cap – it is vital to repair right away to prevent water damage that can lead to problems like rot and mold, both of which can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

The best way to fix leaks originating from your chimney is to hire a trained and certified professional. Performing these repairs on your own puts you at risk since you need to climb onto the roof to carry them out. Professionals will also have access to solutions, products, and tools that you cannot find in your everyday home improvement stores. Finally, by hiring a professional, you can avoid even more issues that can arise from repairs gone wrong and save yourself money in the long run.

Cause #1 – Cracked or Spalling Masonry

Issues with masonry are some of the most common causes of chimney leaks. These cracks allow water to enter the area between the bricks and the chimney liner, which can result in a host of issues that include (but are not limited to) water reaching the wooden structure of your home. If you are trained to replace bricks and mortar, then you may be able to perform this type of repair on your own. Otherwise, calling a professional company to provide tuckpointing and/or waterproofing services for your chimney is a good idea.

Cause #2 – Problems with Flashing

Defective flashing is another common cause of chimney leaks, but fortunately, this is one of the simplest and easiest problems to repair. Wear and tear, corrosion due to acid rain, improper installation, or falling debris can all cause flashing problems. These issues allow water to penetrate the space between the chimney and the roof, causing water to flow into the structure of the home. Homeowners who have roofing knowledge may be able to repair or replace their flashing on their own, but for the most part, a certified professional is the best bet. These individuals can repair or replace your flashing quickly and ensure a job well done.

Cause #3 – Missing or Problematic Chimney Cap

Last, but most certainly not least, a missing chimney cap – or a chimney cap that is in a state of disrepair – is yet another common cause of a leaky chimney. The chimney cap exists for numerous reasons. It keeps leaves and debris from falling into the chimney, it prevents animals from entering and building their nests, and it keeps rainwater from falling down into the chimney where it can mix with soot and creosote to erode the chimney liner or even create rust on the damper. Chimney caps should always be repaired or installed by trained and experienced professionals.

If you notice a pungent odor coming from your fireplace after a rain, water stains on your ceiling, or dampness in your attic near the chimney (among other symptoms) you may have a chimney leak. Schedule an appointment with MCP Chimney & Masonry right away to repair the issue and prevent potentially devastating damage.

 

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