What to Do About Your Leaky Chimney
Sometimes chimneys can leak! Here is information for a smart homeowner to be aware of.
If you’ve ever gone through a hurricane, you know when it’s over, you should inspect your roof. However, it does not take a hurricane to cause roof leaks around chimneys and other roof attachments, such as vents and skylights. These three roof installations are the most common sites of roof leaks.
Deal with Chimney Leaks Quickly
This article will deal with chimney leaks. If you become aware of a wet area on your ceiling, don’t hesitate to address it quickly so there won’t be more damage.
It does not take long for a leaky chimney to become a bigger problem that’s costly to fix. You may first just notice a spot on the ceiling. That spot can grow quickly, though, and lead to drywall problems, wet insulation, mold, mildew, or even damage to the inside of your home. As soon as moisture becomes apparent, contact a professional for a roofing inspection.
What Causes Chimney Leaks?
There can be many reasons why a chimney area can allow water intrusion. These may include such things as loose bricks that are causing leaks, the crown of the chimney could be cracked, a chimney liner that has become a problem, a flashing issue, or even a chimney cap that has come off or is damaged.
Chimneys sometimes get cracks due to age that allow water to come in. There is also a metal piece that is installed between the roof and the chimney called the chimney flashing that might get broken or blow loose in storms.
Sometimes the chimney flashing has been improperly installed and causes early roof failure. The first sign may be a leaky chimney. Water intrusion from weather, such as rain or snow, allows seepage into the roof area, which can cause roof problems such as wood damage, mildew, or mold.
Actions You Should Take
So as a homeowner, what do you do about your leaky chimney?
First, start by seeking out a licensed and insured roofing contractor. They will inspect your roof and chimney and be able to begin repairs. A few of the things they will look for on your roof are problems with the flashing or broken stone or bricks. They will check the mortar joints and look for cracking near the foundation of the chimney. Your inspector should also look at the chimney cap for leaks or cracks.
If you are lucky, it may be an inexpensive and easy fix. They may only have to seal the cracks and put a moisture repellent to avoid more leaks. If they do not find chimney damage, it could be a flashing problem. The flashing is covered with shingles and may be able to just be repaired, but if there were deterioration, they would need to redo the shingles and flashing. If your cap is damaged, it may need stone or brick repair.
Chimney Repairs: Not a DIY Project
It is especially important to realize that these repairs are not a do-it-yourself project. Anytime you attempt roofing repairs, you could cause problems with the roofing warranty. It is best to leave these repairs to the professionals. You have done your job by being the alert and aware homeowner and making the decision to contact a professional.