April showers can bring some unexpected water into your home, through your chimney!
The chimney is a common entry point for water into your home. There are several ways your chimney, or its supporting features, can fail and let water into your home. Often, the signs of a chimney leak are subtle. A rusty damper, moisture in the bottom of your firebox, or stains on the outside of your masonry chimney. However, this means you are unaware of a leak until water comes flooding in during a heavy spring rainstorm.
Chimney masonry, like all masonry, is porous. The masonry materials soak in all of the moisture that it comes into contact with. During cold winter months, the moisture trapped inside the chimney’s bricks and mortar freezes and expands, which can cause the masonry to crack and crumble. This freeze-thaw damage can be subtle until rainy spring weather sends water through these cracks in the chimney and down your flue.
Missing or displaced chimney cap.
Your chimney should be topped with a metal cap that keeps water from flowing freely down the flue. These chimney caps take a lot of abuse from winter winters and spring storms, however. Chimney caps can get blown off entirely, or get knocked off center, leaving your chimney entirely unprotected. Without a chimney cap in place, water can flow freely down your chimney’s flue and into your home.
Damaged chimney crown.
Damaged chimney crowns are another common culprit when it comes to chimney leaks. Your chimney crown seals the top of your chimney from the flue opening to the edge of the exterior chimney walls. Often, chimney crowns are quickly constructed from the wrong materials, causing them to crack or break down. Even properly constructed chimney crowns can fall victim to freeze-thaw damage. A crack or hole in your chimney crown can allow water to come pouring down your chimney.
Flashing wraps around the base of your chimney where it meets the roof-line, preventing water from entering your home through the gap between the chimney and the roof. Failing flashing is one of the most common causes of a chimney leak. The metal flashing can pull away from the base of the chimney or develop holes over time that allow water to pour into your home. If spring’s wet weather has brought water into your home through your chimney, don’t wait to call in a chimney expert!
Unchecked water leaks can cause expensive damage to your chimney, fireplace, walls, ceilings, and to your home’s structure. The longer you wait, the more extensive and expensive the damage becomes! Whether it’s water pouring in your chimney, moisture in your fireplace or subtle signs of water stains on the wall and ceiling around your chimney, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to schedule an appointment today. Our chimney experts will locate the source of your leak and get it fixed before water can do any more damage to your chimney or your home.