Have you discovered water in your attic? Soaking the walls or ceiling of your home? Inside your fireplace? Chimney leaks can be scary, especially because it is difficult to catch the leak before it begins to affect your home. It is not always obvious where it is coming from; there are many places in your chimney and on your roof that could be the source of water penetration. 

Fortunately, you are not alone. Brick + Ember Outfitters have chimney technicians and sweeps who can perform a full leak assessment to diagnose the problem and perform a chimney leak repair. 

Common sources

Chimney cover

A chimney cover is absolutely necessary for keeping water, debris, animals, and insects out of your chimney. When you do not have a cover, water get in and blockage may occur. This is particularly dangerous if you use a fireplace; smoke stuck inside the house can cause a presence of carbon monoxide.

If you do have a cover, it may not be made of the best material or may have become cracked or loose. Original chase covers and chimney caps on older homes could be fitted incorrectly or made of metal that is rusting. To prevent rusting, stainless steel is now commonly used.

If the structure is damaged and allowing water penetration, one of our technicians will be happy to help you replace it.

Chimney crown

A chimney crown seals off the top of the chimney, and it is made from concrete or mortar. Due to its vulnerable position at the top, it is exposed to rain and other elements. This could be the source of leakage. 

With the variable Indiana weather, freezing and thawing in the colder months can cause constant expansion and contraction of the material. The results are small, sometimes invisible, cracks that become bigger over time.

If the cracks in the crown become big enough, a rebuilding might be necessary. Ask our chimney sweeps about getting your crown sealed with a waterproofing product.

Chimney Flashing

Flashing is the metal lining, usually made of aluminum, that runs between the chimney and roof. It is a barrier to a rather large gap that would otherwise allow water in. 

When it is constructed improperly, shifts due to the settling of the house, or gets damaged, it becomes a site where water can seep in. The seams and corners often become potential spots for small cracks, gaps, or lifting of the metal.

Flashing is sealed down with tar or another waterproof sealant. Tar particularly gets worn down easily. If you know your flashing is sealed with tar, talk to one of our professionals about new sealing and waterproofing options.

Brick and mortar

This is one of the most common sources. Mortar joints and other parts of the masonry are easily damaged from water problems.

Brick and mortar cracks and crumbles, allowing water to soak in. Without proper waterproofing sealant, it can even withhold this moisture and become soggy. In any case, this is dangerous to the entire structure of the chimney.

Mortar joints often have holes that water will seep into and get directed all the way inside the home. It is good to know when the last time you got your bricks waterproofed was. 

Other sources

Although not as common, your roof shingles may be damaged. If they are loose and causing leaks, they need replacement.

If you recently switched from a wood to gas burning fireplace, make sure you also install a chimney liner. Without one, moisture can build up on the inside of the chimney.

Finding the leak

If able, you can perform a test to try to pinpoint the leak. Always have someone with you to assist you in the process and to ensure one another’s safety.

Isolate areas of the chimney by placing plastic wrapping around the rest. With a hose, spray one spot for a few minutes. Do you detect any water droplets from inside your house? Move on to another spot. Complete the process from the bottom to the top of the roof and chimney.

The culprit is sometimes hard to find. This is why you may need help from one of our professional chimney technicians. We perform full leak assessments, recommend and perform a repair solution (most likely with sealant), and point out issues that may have caused the leak to begin with.

Keeping your home dry

A chimney should be watertight. If water is penetrating the chimney, it could lead to potential problems inside the home. You do not want to spend your cozy winter worrying about leaks or your relaxing summer dealing with chimney damage. We are here to help fix current issues and prevent future damage!
If you are in the central Indiana area, contact Brick + Ember Outfitters today at 1-317-500-1250 or visit https://brickandember.com to schedule your visit from one of our knowledgeable Outfitters.Outfitters.