Chimney Leaks And How To Fix Them
Brick, stone, and block masonry chimneys are durable but porous materials that absorb moisture as they deteriorate. As a result, chimney leaks are among the most common problems that need repair in Orangeburg and throughout the South Carolina Midlands and Central Augusta River Area (CSRA). Since water leaks can cause extensive damage to the stack and internal components, including a partial or complete structural collapse, it is essential to identify chimney leaks and fix them as soon as possible.
Rain or Snow is Falling inside the Fireplace
The top of the stack should have a chimney cap or flue cover to keep rainwater out of the chimney. One of the most common signs of a damaged or missing cap or cover is water dripping inside the fireplace. This spells trouble for three reasons: first, rain is acidic. Secondly, the interior walls are softer and more vulnerable to water damage. Finally, the chimney has metal components like the damper that can rust or corrode.
How to Fix:
Repair or replace a damaged or missing chimney cap or flue cover without delay. It’s an inexpensive solution that will prevent costlier repairs.
Chimney Flashing Has Damage
The metal flashing is the material that seals the seam where the chimney meets the roof. However, not all flashing is created equal. For example, galvanized steel is prone to rust, making stainless steel flashing a better choice in wet and humid climates like the Central Augusta River Area and South Carolina Midlands. Improper flashing installation is another common cause of chimney leaks. Water seeps through the gaps when the flashing is warping, rusting, corroding, or improperly installed, leading to structural damage to your attic, roof deck, and chimney.
How to Fix:
When you spot water stains or peeling paint on the ceiling and walls around the fireplace or wood rot in the attic, call Advanced Chimney to schedule an inspection immediately and make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage.
Gaps in the Mortar Joints
The chimney exterior fights many battles with Mother Nature. Still, eventually, it succumbs to the damaging effects of extreme weather, from freezing rain and ice to periods of frequent rain and exposure to the sun’s heat. This creates the perfect storm for mortar decay, leading to cracking, peeling, and crumbling bricks with gaps in the mortar joints. Water leaks through these holes in the masonry, accelerating its deterioration. The water damage will eventually lead to a complete structural collapse without repair.
How to Fix:
When masonry damage is limited to mortar decay and the bricks are intact, a chimney professional can make the repairs using tuckpointing or repointing. When there is damage to the bricks, an individual brick replacement will also be necessary to restore the chimney. In severe cases where the chimney is leaning or has significant damage, partial or complete rebuilding will be required to prevent its collapse.
The Crown is Cracking
Do you ever notice that your concrete or cement driveway, steps, and patio begin to crack or split over time? Well, it happens to the chimney crown too! It is often the result of water damage, but house settling is another common cause of chimney crown leaks. Sometimes a strike of lightning takes out a chunk of the crown. When water leaks through the crown, it accelerates the deterioration of the flue liner, interior walls, and other components. In addition to structural damage, it increases the risk of fire and health issues, such as mold and mildew.
How to Fix:
Our Certified Chimney Professional® will inspect the crown to determine whether it meets the criteria for resealing or if we need to rebuild the crown to save the chimney.
Chimney Leak Detection and Repair
Protect your chimney from the damaging effects of rain and other severe weather by scheduling a chimney inspection as soon as possible. It will prolong the lifespan of your chimney, avoiding more extensive repairs in the future.
Advanced Chimney Sweep provides certified chimney inspections, cleaning, and repairs in the CSRA and South Carolina Midlands region, including Santee, SC; Charleston, SC; Augusta, GA; and Statesboro, GA.
Call (803) 508-3990 or (706) 833-4630 today to schedule an appointment, or contact us online.