When it comes to your chimney’s health, there are many things that can be detrimental to it. However, a good number of issues associated with poor chimney health can be traced back to moisture intrusion in your chimney. Having a leaky chimney can lead to all sorts of problems such as water and salt stains, unpleasant odors, masonry damage and a messy firebox, to name a few. These issues can ruin the aesthetics of your living area. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine how water is getting into your chimney without a thorough inspection from a trained and Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician. At Leonard and Sons, we have been in the business of chimney maintenance and repair for over 50 years! We’ve seen it all when it comes to leaky chimneys and can diagnose and repair most issue associated with chimney leakage.
There are mechanisms in your chimney system that are designed to prevent chimney leakage. A lot of the time when there is a chimney leak, it is due to one of these mechanisms failing. Below are three of the more common leak prevention failures that we encounter when making service calls.
A chimney cap is the first line of defense against moisture getting into your chimney. It consists of a cover that sits atop a mesh cage. This blocks rain, snow, and sleet from entering your chimney while still allowing smoke to flow out. However, due to the elements, chimney caps often rust and become loose, allowing precipitation to enter your chimney. If moisture is allowed to enter your chimney, it can mix with creosote and soot, causing an unpleasant odors as well as a mess in your fireplace.
Your chimney flashing is a strip of metal that bridges the gap where your chimney intersects with the roof, preventing water from running along the outside of your chimney and into your home. Over the years, flashing can become rusty and loose, allowing water to run down your chimney. Any walls or framework adjacent to your chimney can then be vulnerable to water damage.
Your chimney lining keeps the heat inside your chimney from transferring outside of your flue. However, if your chimney lining is deteriorating, temperature differences between your chimney and adjacent rooms can cause condensation in your chimney. This condensation can seep into your masonry causing water and salt stains as well as unpleasant odors.
Usually the when one of these mechanisms is faulty or missing, the best course of action is to replace the mechanism with a new one as soon as possible.
If you notice any signs of leaking in your chimney, it needs to be fixed right away. If left unattended chimney leaks can begin damaging your masonry which is dangerous and can be expensive to fix. If you think your chimney may be leaking, call us at Leonard & Sons for a CSIA-certified chimney inspection to see what is causing your leakage issues. Call us at 847-658-7659 or check us out online to schedule an appointment today!