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Is Your Chimney Leaking?

This is a good question to ask because chimney leaks are the primary cause of major structural damage to a chimney. The pros at Advanced Chimney Sweep of Georgia and South Carolina would like to share some points about chimney leaks that you should know.

chimney leaking in Augusta GAWhere do chimney leaks happen?

A common area for leaks is the chimney masonry. Bricks are porous and absorb water from rain and snow. Water, over time, causes deterioration. Additionally, when temperatures drop below freezing, the brick moisture expands, causing further damage.

With sufficient brick damage, water can move into the interior areas of the chimney, where it can cause mold growth and more damage to the chimney structure and adjacent home building materials.

A chimney system also can be affected by intruding moisture from a rusted-out chimney cap or chimney chase top, a cracked chimney crown and warped flashing around the base of the exterior chimney.

Leaky chimney signs to watch for

If you spot any of these common signs of a leaky chimney, contact a certified chimney repair technician promptly.

  • Cracked or loose bricks; crumbling mortar joints between the bricks
  • Water in the firebox
  • Strong, musty odors coming from the fireplace
  • Flue condensation/dripping
  • Damp or stained areas on the ceiling or walls near the fireplace/chimney
  • Black mold growing on the exterior masonry

What can be done about a chimney leak

If you know or suspect your chimney is leaking, step one is to schedule an inspection from a licensed chimney inspector. This person will determine the cause of the leak and find out how much collateral damage, if any, has happened because of it.

Addressing a leaky chimney can involve several strategies including:

  • Replacing loose and cracked bricks
  • Tuckpointing, which removes crumbling mortar and replaces it with a fresh, strong compound
  • Repair or replacement of damaged chimney caps, flue covers, chase covers and chimney crowns at the top of the chimney
  • Repair of warped or rusted chimney flashing or the installation of new flashing
  • Waterproofing is applied to your chimney’s masonry to prevent more water from intruding while allowing the masonry surface to “breathe”

The dangers of neglecting a leaky chimney

Chimney leaks don’t get better on their own. Rather, if left alone, they can progress to the point you’re facing major expenses for chimney repairs and rebuilding, not to mention a risk to the safety of everyone living in your home.

After years (and sometimes less) of deterioration, a chimney can begin to lean to one side. It also can collapse entirely with sufficient compromise to its bricks and mortar joints.

Aside from water and its damaging effects, a huge concern with a leaky chimney is the growth of dangerous black mold. Sometimes you can see this fungus, other times you can’t, depending on the location of the outbreak. In either case, mold is known to be harmful to the health of people and pets.

chimney crown repair in Lexington SCCall your local chimney experts

If you have a leaky chimney or any other chimney issues that need repair, call Advanced Chimney Sweep at (706) 833-4630 in Georgia or (803) 508-3990 in South Carolina. You also can reach out through our handy contact form.

We are Certified Chimney Professionals (CCP) proudly serving Augusta GA, Martinez GA, Evans GA, Dearing GA, Hephzibah GA, Thomson GA, Lincolnton GA, Wrens GA, the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) and the South Carolina Midlands region, Lexington SC, Aiken SC, Batesburg-Leesville SC, West Columbia SC, Forest Acres SC, Bamberg SC, and vicinity.