Common Causes of Chimney Leaks

Chimneys, together with your home fireplace, help keep your house warm and cozy. This is particularly true during the winter season. Unfortunately, it can result in huge issues if your chimney starts leaking. 

If you ignore the problem, a small leak can result in major water damage in your house and costly repairs. Keep in mind that a chimney and chimney flue help keep carbon monoxide, smoke, and fire where they should be. That is why you should address and fix the problem as soon as you notice it. This is where a professional masonry Fresno contractor can help. 

However, what can cause chimney leaks? Here are some common examples: 

Damaged Caused to the Chimney’s Masonry Structure 

We are talking about the damage to the brickwork itself. Most of the time, this is caused by moisture that has gotten into the brick from a cracked crown or other cracks in the mortar joints.  

Once the water enters, there is a chance for it to thaw and freeze. This can lead to cracks that let in more moisture. That is why if you choose to ignore the problem, it will only get worse.  

Improperly Installed or Damaged Chimney Flashing 

For those who don’t know, chimney flashing is a waterproof material. Typically, it is a metal that is folded and installed where the chimney meets the roof.  

The purpose of flashing is to lead water away from the chimney and down the roof. If the contractor did not seal or install the chimney flashing properly, you may get chimney leaks. Worn-out, old, or poorly installed flashing can also result in leaks.  

Damaged Chimney Crown 

The crown plays a huge part in protecting the chimney. Typically, it is a layer of mortar that is on top of the last course of bricks. Its purpose is to hold together the top of the chimney and prevent water from getting in between the brickwork and flue pipe.  

A lot of chimney crowns aren’t sealed or installed properly. If this is the case, it can cause the crown to crack and start to allow water inside over time. In areas that have a lot of thaws or freeze cycles, this is particularly risky. Even tiny amounts of water can result in mortar deterioration and brick flaking.  

No Cap or Poorly Fixed Chimney Cap 

Typically, a chimney cap is metal, stone, or concrete. It sits at the top of the opening of the chimney. It stops the entry of rainwater and other types of precipitation. A couple of chimney caps even have a wire mesh to stop birds and other pests from getting inside the chimney.  

If you do not have a chimney cap or if it is poorly installed, it can enable water to get inside the chimney. That should not be the case. This is particularly true if you’re located in a region that frequently experiences rainstorms.  

If you do have a leaking chimney, make sure you hire a professional mason to help fix the issue before it gets worse.