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Don’t Wait to Fix Chimney Leaks

Ahh, springtime! The snow is melting, the trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, you’re stuck at home; and your chimney is leaking. Have you been spending more time at home and heard a persistent, unfound dripping? After a Colorado winter, with months of snow and ice sitting against your chimney, spring is when we notice the new leaks. Call your local fireplace and chimney experts to fix it.

Our Chimney Safety Institute of America Certified technicians will perform a thorough leaky chimney inspection to determine where the water is coming in, and how to stop it. We are an essential business and are still open to make sure your family is safe and warm. If you suspect your chimney of allowing water into your home, don’t wait, call us today. We can solve your chimney problems!

Exposure to the Elements Causes Chimney Leaks

Most people are unfamiliar with the parts to a chimney system that can allow water in. The weak points of a chimney vary depending on whether it’s a masonry or factory-built chimney. Most parts of the chimney degrade with time, UV rays from sunlight, hail damage, and the repeated freezing and thawing of a Colorado spring. There are usually several suspected weak points when there are signs of water intrusion. This fact makes identifying exactly where the water is coming from a challenge. Often, the location of apparent water damage does not reveal the actual location of the source of the leak.

Weathering in masonry joints and bricks is a common source of chimney leaks in Colorado.
Weathering in masonry joints and bricks is a common source of chimney leaks in Colorado.

Why do masonry chimneys leak?

If you have a masonry chimney you may believe that it will last forever, but that is simply not true. Masonry chimneys are susceptible to degradation and chimney leaks just like any other material. This degradation happens faster than most people expect with the unpredictable winter and spring weather in Colorado. We see damage to masonry chimneys from rain and hail; however, the freeze/thaw cycle is most destructive, that is why it’s so important to keep water flowing off and away from your chimney.

Masonry chimneys are made of flue tiles which are supported by cinder blocks and stone or bricks. They also have a concrete crown at the top. The concrete crown is designed to be the “lid” to your masonry chimney, it keeps water out and sheds the water away from the sides of the chimney. Concrete crowns should have 2-inch overhang with a drip edge which prevents water from running down and eroding the mortar joints between the stones or bricks. If you’re missing a 4-5” thick concrete slab with an overhang and drip edge atop the masonry, that’s a strong indicator of water intrusion problems. We can pour a new concrete crown for your chimney or apply Crown Coat to seal any cracks you may have in your chimney crown.

When your crown isn’t deflecting water away from the sides of your chimney, water seeps through your mortar joints. This problem becomes even larger when the moisture freezes and expands. Freezing water expansion exerts tremendous pressure on surrounding masonry materials, creating cracks which then allow more water in. As this cycle continues, the damage compounds with each freeze and thaw. Eventually there may be no mortar left at all, allowing rain or snow melt directly into your home. Our chimney experts can repair water damage to masonry and mortar, keeping your chimney leak free and maintaining the integrity of your home.

What causes factory-built chimneys to leak?

If you don’t have a masonry chimney, you’re still at risk of chimney leaks. If you have a framed wooden box, called a “chase” enclosing your venting, those materials can also wear out and allow water into your home. The top of a chase system must have a proper cover, chimney cap, and storm collar. The weakest point of the chase is the sheet metal chase cover.

Chase covers are more susceptible to rain and hail damage than masonry chimneys. Over time, dents form and the cover sags on top, collecting water and rusting through. A new chase cover is sloped from the center with drip edges designed to shed water away from chase. If water runs down the sides of your chase, it can enter through gaps in the façade on your chase. Chases are also flashed to the roof line, that can be another area water sneaks its way into your home.

A CSIA-Certified chimney sweep from Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney inspects a chimney for leaks.
If your factory built chimney or the chase around it is leaking, you should seek the help a CSIA-Certified professional like the technicians at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney.

What do I do about chimney leaks?

Whether your chimney is masonry or you have a chase and factory-built chimney, a proper chimney cap is your first line of defense against a leaky chimney. If you look up at your chimney and there isn’t a cap, call us right away! The structure around your flue may be tight but if you’re missing your cap or you have a damaged or improperly sized cap, it allows water straight into the home. Water intrusion from a chimney leak due to a missing cap can damage both masonry and factory-built chimneys. This damage has repercussions that affect not just your fireplace and chimney system but other parts of your home as well.

Our leaky chimney inspection evaluates your entire chimney or chase. If you don’t address damage from a chimney leak quickly, it only gets worse. That’s why it’s crucial that any leaks are located and repaired immediately. If you notice any suspicious water stains, or hear dripping and can’t find the source, protect your home and your investment, call us right away!

Call us if your chimney is leaking!

Our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute. They have the experience to take on your leaky chimney problems and any other fireplace or chimney needs you have. We also have industry specific techniques, such as special flashing for sealing the uneven edge where masonry chimneys meet the roof line. Put our 22 years of experience working on chimneys in the foothills to work for you!

If the one thing about spring that you are not enjoying is a mysterious water leak, we can help! We can also take on your other fireplace and chimney needs from sales and installation to annual service and repairs. As a business that is essential to your home and family’s safety, we’re open for business and booking appointments. Give us a call today at (303) 679-1601. You can also reach us at Office@MtnHP.com.

Originally posted on MtnHP.com, our sister site.

We’ll Help You Fight Against Chimney Leaks

If you’ve noticed excess water in and throughout your fireplace, a rusted damper or flashing, or crumbling brickwork, then you are experiencing a leaky chimney. Leaks in your chimney need to be addressed immediately, as it can lead to bigger issues like clogs, mold accumulation, deterioration, and more. It’s vital to get your leaks repaired by a team of certified experts though, and our crew is here to help!

However, once your chimney is repaired and back in shape, it’s important to invest in preventative maintenance to ensure it won’t suffer leaks down the line. We have the tools and expertise to ensure you chimney is leak free from the beginning, let our team help!

Waterproofing

a lovely chimney capOne chimney service we strongly urge our customers to invest in is waterproofing. Unfortunately, your masonry is extremely absorbent. If your brickwork starts to crumble, your entire chimney structure is compromised, so it’s vital to keep your masonry protected. Waterproofing stops water from getting in, while also allowing your chimney to vent out fumes and moisture. Let our professionals help waterproof your chimney today!

Chimney Caps

Chimney caps are another necessity  to keep your chimney and fireplace in good shape. These devices keep water out of your flue, along with excess debris and animals. They work to ensure your system avoid all kinds of damage during your burning season. They are also known for stopping sparks from landing on your roof and blocking downdrafts. Overall, they are an affordable and worthwhile investment that make a huge impact on the health of your system.

Crown Repair

Your chimney crown works to send water out and away from your masonry. It sits on the top of your chimney, and its slanting structure and overhang ensure your brickwork gets as little water exposure as possible. Unfortunately, not all crowns are constructed properly and many show wear and tear earlier than the homeowner anticipated. We can restore or rebuild your crown, then seal it with a waterproofing agent to give it long lasting protection year after year!

Flashing Installation

One area of your home that is especially vulnerable to water damage is the place where the roof and the chimney meet – the flashing. Why is this spot so prone to leaks? Since your roof and chimney are made of different materials, they expand and contract at different rates, leaving openings where water can enter. Flashing consists of pieces of metal that seals this area, and it works to stop excess moisture in its tracks. We install and repair them!

Leaky chimney repair is not something you should put off. Call our team right away if you suffer from any of the above chimney damages. We’ve got the tools and training to help restore your chimney and fireplace!

By Jake Johnson on January 9th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment