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Roof It Forward - I have a leak around my chimney. Why?

May 27, 2022

Your fireplace can serve as the centerpiece of your home. Being around a warm fire with your family brings comfort that is unmatched by anything else. Unfortunately, your chimney can begin to leak over time. It's important to catch these leaks early to prevent any additional damage that could result in a costly repair. Below are several reasons why your chimney could be leaking.

First off, it's important to know how to identify a chimney leak. The most common signs that there is damage to your chimney are if you hear sounds of water dripping into a pan or notice brown water stains on the sides of your chimney.

Your Chimney Doesn't Have A Cover

Without a chase cover, crown, cap, or damper on the top of your chimney, there is nothing preventing rain or snow from entering. Not only can moisture get in this way, but birds and other animals could come into your house through the chimney.

The Chimney Cover Is Damaged

A very common chimney topper is a chase top. Chase tops are designed to stop rain and snow from coming into your chimney. There is a hole in the middle of the chase tops for the spark arrester and chimney pipe to go in. If the chase top is lower than the rest of the steel panel on the top of the chimney, water will build up and rust the chase top, leading to a leak.

There could also be a caulk failure around the hole of the chimney pipe and a spark arrestor comes through.

These problems can normally be spotted during an annual roof maintenance inspection.

The Bricks Become Saturated

If your chimney is made from brick, the bricks and mortar are porous enough to absorb rainwater. While the chase top should direct the water evenly into different directions, this rarely happens. Normally, the water goes off one corner of the chase top so one corner of your chimney bricks gets saturated over time, leading to leaks within the chimney.

Your Roof Flashing Is Causing The Problem

Roof flashing is a thin metal material that is installed to direct water away from certain parts of your roof, such as your chimney. A leak could be caused by your roof flashing not being installed properly. When the flashing isn't installed properly, your chimney doesn't have anything stopping the rainwater from flowing in.

Another cause of a chimney leak from roof flashing is if the flashing is worn down. This can happen just based on age and lifespan. In this case, the flashing will just need to be replaced.

If you think you may have a chimney leak, it's time to call a roofing contractor. Here at ARAC Roof It Forward, we offer a free video roof inspection so we can diagnose the problem. After the inspection, we will show you the damage, review your repair options, and provide a cost estimate. With almost 20 years of experience, our Roof It Forward team can swiftly and effectively fix your chimney leak. Schedule your free video inspection today.


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