Chimney Care Company's Blog

Leaky chimneys and water damage repairs

While chimneys take a lot of abuse internally during the winter when your fireplace is hard at work, the exterior of your chimney also faces harsh elements all winter long and during the spring. Chimney leaks and water damage problems are very common in the spring when rain is constant. At,
Chimney Care Co. , we want to protect your chimney from water damages. Here’s what you need to know about water damage and chimney leaks.

Chimney water damage

rainbow with chimney

From the exterior, water is your chimney’s No. 1 enemy, especially in the winter. The masonry materials that most chimneys are constructed from are very porous. They absorb any water that hits the chimney when it rains or snows. In winter, when temperatures rise and fall above freezing, the water within the chimney materials freeze and thaw to cause tremendous damages to your masonry chimney.

When the water freezes and expands within your chimney’s masonry, it weakens the masonry. Water freezing within chimney masonry can cause cracks to the structure or the crown. It can also cause crumbling mortar, and masonry materials, and it can even lead to falling brick faces or chimney stones. As this freeze-thaw damage cycle continues overtime, it can have serious consequences for your chimney and home.

Chimney leaks

After a winter of harsh weather, spring’s rains bring another problem: Chimney leaks. The cracks that develop in the chimney masonry due to freeze/thaw damage can allow water to leak into your chimney. Spring chimney leaks might reveal other weaknesses of your chimney too.

Heavy winter winds or high winds during spring storms can unseat a chimney cap, which then allows water into your chimney. The flashing that seals the joint between your roofline and chimney can develop cracks or gaps. A heavy rainfall can reveal those cracks or gaps, causing water to leak into your home.

Chimney repairs

If your chimney has suffered water damage this winter or it’s showing signs of leaking this spring, then it’s time to address the chimney leaks. Overtime, chimney damage and leaks can worsen, leading to even more problems and extensive repairs. Damaged chimney masonry allows water to leak through your chimney. The masonry will continue to weaken over time, compromising the structure and safety of your chimney. Chimney leaks can lead to extensive water damage to your home’s structure too, so you should take care of them sooner rather than later.

If you are experiencing chimney leaks, then call Chimney Care Co.! We can repair your chimney’s damaged masonry, install a chimney cap, repair failing flashing, address leaks and more. Don’t wait until chimney damage or leaks do major damage to your home — call us today!

By Jeff Keefer | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Why is my chimney leaking?

This time of year, as snow piles on rooftops and chimneys get pelted with rain sleet and snow, many homeowners see concerning puddles of water within their fireboxes, water stains around their chimneys on ceilings and walls or rust forming on fireplace doors, dampers or grates. Seeing signs that your chimney is leaking can be both frustrating and terrifying. Water damage can be expensive to fix, but before you can work toward a repair, first you have to know why the chimney is leaking. Here are a few likely culprits.

What causes chimneys to leak?
What causes chimneys to leak?

Over time, water breaks down your chimney’s masonry, which can lead to chimney leaks. Masonry, including your chimney bricks or stones and the mortar that holds them together, is porous. It absorbs water every time it rains, snows or sleets. When temperatures drop, the water held inside your chimney masonry freezes and expands, which causes the masonry itself to crack or crumble away. The holes and cracks in your masonry can allow water to leak into the chimney itself, where it can cause water damage inside your chimney flue and in your firebox.

Failing or inadequate chimney crown

Every chimney should be topped with a sturdy chimney crown, constructed from high-quality concrete reinforced with rebar. Many chimney crowns are constructed hastily with the same mortar the mason used to build the chimney structure itself. These insufficient chimney crowns break down quickly, forming cracks that allow water to leak down into your chimney’s inner structure. Even well-constructed chimney crowns will break down over time, due to the freeze-thaw cycle, and a chimney crown that isn’t protecting your chimney from water and directing water away from your flue can cause serious water damage to your chimney and your home.

Faulty flashing

Often a “chimney leak” isn’t the chimney at all; it’s the chimney flashing. Flashing surrounds the base of your chimney, where it meets your rooftop. Sometimes flashing isn’t adequately built into the layers of the chimney and roof to form a tight seal, or flashing can crack and corrode over time. Faulty flashing allows water to drain in around the chimney. A chimney leak caused by faulty flashing often causes dark water marks on the ceiling around the chimney, or it can cause paint or wallpaper to pucker and peal. Fault chimney flashing can cause major damage in your home, as it gives water access to your home’s structure, which can lead to warping and rotting.

Missing chimney cap

Your chimney needs a chimney cap, a small metal roof-like structure that prevents water from rolling directly down your chimney flue. Without a chimney cap, water flows freely down your chimney when it precipitates. Water inside your chimney can cause water damage to flue tiles or the masonry within your chimney box, or it can cause your chimney damper, fireplace doors or fireplace grate to rust.

Nothing can be more intimidating to a homeowner than a leaky chimney because leaky chimneys can cause extensive water damage that can be very expensive to repair. If you notice signs of water leaking in, through or around your chimney, don’t wait to have it addressed — Call the Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today!

Have Your Leaky Chimney Repaired Now

More than any other chimney repair, a leaky chimney should never be ignored. When leaking chimneys are neglected, they continue to allow water into the chimney system, or even into your home’s structure, causing major Have Your Leaky Chimney Repaired Now IMG- Cincinnati OH- Chimney Care Companystructural damage over time. A small chimney leak that is ignored now can mean a big home repair later.

If your home has a chimney, there are several signs of a chimney leak you should be on the lookout for:

Discoloration on your chimney’s masonry.

If your chimney is turning a funny color, that can be a sure sign that water is doing damage. White staining indicates that water is penetrating the chimney’s masonry, while black, blue or green stains can indicate mold or algae growth on your chimney’s masonry due to water penetration. Rust stains down the sides of your chimney can mean a rusting and failing chimney cap or chimney chase cover.

Water pooling in the bottom of your fireplace.

A puddle forming at the bottom of your fireplace is a clear indication that water is finding its way into your chimney’s interior.

 Rusting firebox components

Rust in your fireplace means moisture is getting in somehow, likely by leaking in through your chimney. If you notice that your damper, fireplace doors or fireplace grate are rusting, your chimney should be inspected for a leak.

Cracked or spalling bricks

Masonry materials are highly porous, and the brick in your chimney will draw in moisture from rain, sleet and snow. When temperatures drop, that moisture freezes and causes the bricks to crack and crumble. If that breakdown is allowed to continue, it can lead to a larger and more problematic chimney leak, or to the structural breakdown of your chimney.

Sagging or discolored ceilings and walls

If you have water damage within your home and you think your roof might be leaking, check your chimney! Leaks around the base of the chimney can cause damage within your home, including staining on your ceiling or walls, peeling wallpaper or sagging ceilings. If left unchecked, the leak could cause wood rot and structural damage to your home’s supports.

If you notice these or any other signs of a water leak in your chimney, it is crucial to have your chimney inspected now! Any water damage will only get worse with time. Summer is the best time for chimney repairs, because the warm temperatures and sunny weather afford chimney experts the time to work and masonry materials the time to cure properly. And by scheduling your chimney repairs this summer, you can have your chimney ready to operate, and ready to resist wetter weather, before fall comes.

If your chimney is leaking, call the Chimney Care Company to schedule an appointment today! We can assess your leak and plan and execute the repairs needed to keep your home and chimney safe from further water damage.

By Jeff Keefer | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

Prolong Chimney Life by Waterproofing

Many of us are guilty of the fact that we only pay attention to things inside the home once they start creating problems. Take your chimney for example, it seems as if it will last forever. But once it creates problems like leaks and such, you tend to pay close attention to it because the effects can be crucial both to your pocket and to your home.

Water is your chimney's enemy. Make sure it doesn't make its way in there.

Water is your chimney’s enemy. Make sure it doesn’t make its way in there.

What most of us don’t realize is that our chimneys go through severe weather changes throughout the year. That’s why they are very prone to chimney leaks and eventually deterioration of their infrastructure. We owe it to ourselves to give enough attention to the chimney so that we can avoid the hassle of repairing major damage. You will be able to save a great deal of money and protect your chimney.

Water and Your Chimney

Water is the number one enemy of chimneys. The moisture can help mold to breed in the tiny spaces between chimney bricks and produce harmful toxins that will threaten your health. Furthermore, it destroys the structure of the chimney over time. So if you really want to extend the life of your chimney and to somehow help in reducing the costs long-term, waterproofing your chimney becomes mandatory. Waterproofing your chimney means that every measure is taken to make sure that water will have no entry point into any part of your chimney.

Installing a Chimney Cap is Important in Waterproofing your Chimney

By installing a chimney cap, you are already hitting two birds: helping your chimney live longer and preventing leaves and bird nests to enter the chimney and cause further damage. It has two goals and benefits to give:

  • To protect your chimney from water and other things that might block it
  • To beautify the roof even more. (Having something put on your chimney opening is pleasing to the eyes.)

To attain the maximum efficiency of your fireplace and chimney consider contacting a chimney sweep duly licensed by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. You can also check with the National Fireplace Institute because without a licensed professional in the field, the process might take more time than usual and more money as well. Our company, Chimney Care Co., has the best licensed professionals to take care of your chimney. Our years of experience will guarantee a fully-functional, well-maintained chimney. Nothing beats excellent service and outstanding people to do all these for you.

 

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140