Water can penetrate nearly any substance over time. Steel will rust, and concrete will break its barrier when it is exposed to water over a long duration. Chimneys are made of brick, concrete, and sometimes steel, which adds up to a problem when it comes to heavy rain and inclement weather.
What can cause a chimney to leak and how do I fix it?
Cracks in the brick and mortar holding the chimney together
Mortar joints and bricks are strong substances that are supposed to last a lifetime, but with intense weather conditions they lose their strength and develop cracks. This later becomes a pathway for water from heavy rains to pass through, and the eventual development of water pockets will aggravate the situation.
Regular maintenance is required to keep mortar joints and bricks strong, reducing the chance of leaks from chimneys. The most efficient way is it to add a mix of water, cement, and sand on the outer layer of mortar joints and bricks to increase the strength of its outer walls and protect against heavy rains and debris.
No chimney cover
It is crucial for chimneys to have a cover as it stops large amounts of water and debris from entering the chimney. Without it, substances leak in and create a gunk that causes chimney blockage. When this happens, smoke can back up into the house, causing a serious health factor.
A cracked chimney crown
A chimney crown is the basic foundation of support for the top of the chimney, and it stops debris from falling into the chimney and causing blockages.
Chimney crowns are often made of cement. Some manufacturers use lower quality cement which causes the chimney crowns to crack and develop water pockets that intensify the situation and expand the cracks. If this is left untreated, the cracks will expand with the cold air in the winter, completely destroying the housing of the chimney and reducing the crown’s ability to hold the chimney altogether.
The problem can be addressed using a special coating that seals up cracks and increase the life of the chimney crown. A yearly inspection to examine the health of the chimney crown is advised.
Damaged chimney flashing
Chimney flashing is an important aspect of the chimney. It prevents water and other liquid substances from gathering on the surface of the ceiling where the chimney is placed, acting as a barrier between the ceiling and chimney. This stops water from penetrating where the chimney is weakest. Chimney flashing develops cracks over time due to constant wear, or being incorrectly installed.
Identifying the damage to the chimney flashing and fixing the issue is the accurate way to address such problems. It’s best to call a professional. To address chimney flashing problems yourself, you can apply a thick coat of special cement and cover all cracks and damaged areas. This will reduce leakages and also increase the life of the chimney.
If your chimney is experiencing leaks, you can always call the professional chimney inspection team at Mr. Roof to hear from the experts what the cause may be, and how to address it. Inspections and estimates are free, with no obligation.