Once it gets warmer out, we here at Leonard and Son’s start to see a rise in the number of calls we get regarding leaky chimneys. Water leaking in the fireplace, water stains on brickwork and unpleasant smells from the chimney are some of the more common complaints that we receive. Moisture from rain is one of the primary culprits when it comes to the problems associated with your masonry and if you notice leakage. It is very important to repair leakage problems right away. This is because leaking can quickly turn into an even bigger issue if not handled promptly. At Leonard and Sons, we have the knowledge and experience that can help you protect your chimney from rain.

Why is rain so bad for my chimney?

Rain can cause a number of issues with chimney. If rain is allowed to enter your chimney, it can end up mixing with creosote on the inside of your chimney walls. This mixture can drip down into your fireplace and stain your masonry as well as leave an unpleasant odor.

A larger issue can occur when water is allowed to pool on your masonry. Although it may not look like it, your bricks can soak up a lot of water through tiny pores. Once water is inside the brick, it can pool and slowly erode your masonry from the inside out. Furthermore, in the winter, water inside the brick can freeze and expand rapidly, causing your masonry to crack and crumble. This can cause issues with your chimney’s airflow as well as be a big safety concern.

What can be done to protect my chimney from rain?

There are a number of mechanisms that we use in the chimney industry to prevent rain from coming into contact with your chimney. Chimney caps and chase covers are usually the first line of protection against rain. These devices act as cover over the opening of your chimney. A chimney cap contains a cover that is set on top of a mesh cage. This allows for smoke and hot air to go out of your chimney, while keeping the opening of your chimney covered. A chase cover is designed to cover your chimney, but has a hole cut out where your flue is located. If you have a missing or damaged chimney cap or chase cover, a new one should be installed immediately to prevent any further rain intrusion.

Your chimney crown, which sits on top of your chimney, is usually constructed at the same time of your chimney. It is constructed by creating a watertight seal along the outer edge of your chimney top out of mortar. The mortar is formed into a slight slope meaning that rain is more likely to bounce off the edge of the chimney instead of inside of it. Oftentimes, we come across a chimney crown that is cracked and crumbling. If this is the case, one of our masonry experts needs to reconstruct a new chimney crown for you.

Exposure to rain is a big issue. If you haven’t had your chimney inspected for leaks in a while, or you think that you chimney might be actively leaking, we here at Leonard and Sons can help you. Give us a call at 847-658-7659 or schedule an appointment online today to have one of our certified chimney sweeps come over and protect your chimney from the rain.