When it comes to the health of your chimney, there are there are a lot of things that can be detrimental to it. However, a lot of the problems associated with poor chimney health can be traced back to moisture entering into your chimney system. A leaky chimney can lead to all sorts of issues such as smelly fireplaces, water and salt stains, and masonry damage, just to name a few. Not only can these issues ruin the aesthetics of your hearth area, but they can also lead to larger, more expensive and hazardous issues. It can sometimes be difficult to determine how water is getting into your chimney. However, at Northeastern Masonry and Chimney we offer thorough chimney inspections from chimney technicians who are Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified. We’ve seen everything when it comes to leaky chimneys and can diagnose and repair your leaky chimney issues for you.
Why Does my Chimney Leak?
There are mechanisms that are installed or built into your chimney system that is designed to prevent chimney leakage. Over time, some of these mechanisms eventually fail due to high usage, aging, or exposure to the elements. Here are some of the more common leak issues we come across.
Chimney Cap Failure – Your chimney cap is the first line of defense against moisture getting into your chimney. It consists of a metal cover that sits on top of a mesh cage. This allows smoke to leave your chimney while blocking rain, snow, and sleet from entering. However, due to its highly exposed location, chimney caps can often loosen and fall off your chimney, or they can become rusty. If this happens and moisture is allowed to enter your chimney, it can mix with creosote creating a sticky and smelly mess inside your chimney.
Damaged Chimney Lining – Your chimney lining is designed to keep the hot air inside your chimney from transferring to your masonry. However, if your chimney lining is cracked, chipped, or rusted out, this can lead to temperature differences between your chimney and adjacent rooms. This can lead to condensation inside of your chimney. This condensation can seep into your masonry and cause water stains and unpleasant chimney odors.
Missing Flashing – Your chimney flashing is a strip of metal that bridges the gap where your chimney intersects with the roof. It is put in place to prevent rainwater from running down the outside of your chimney and into your home. Over the years, flashing can start to rust or loosen, allowing water to run into your home. This can cause walls adjacent to your chimney become vulnerable to moisture damage.
When one of these mechanisms is failing, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible to prevent them from turning into larger, more expensive and dangerous issues. If you’re having issues with masonry stains, dripping water, or unpleasant odors, we can help! Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9314, or scheduling an appointment online today to have one of our CSIA certified chimney technicians fix your leaky chimney today.