5 Typical Causes of Chimney Leaks

A leak in your chimney allows water to enter from the exterior of the home, which can cause significant damage if left alone. It’s important to understand the typical causes of chimney leaks so that you can address the problem quickly. Here are the 5 most common causes.

Flashing Failure

The purpose of chimney flashing is to keep water from going between the roof and the chimney where the chimney comes out of the home.Flashing failure occurs when the aluminum deteriorates or the waterproofing is no longer effective. This is a very common cause of a leaking chimney that can be easily fixed.

Masonry Problems

Cracked mortar and masonry happens over time, allowing water to seep into the chimney walls. The problem becomes worse over time because the water expands and contracts with changes in the weather. It may be possible to address this source of leaking with brick sealant products.

Missing Chimney Cap

A chimney cap keeps snow or rain from going straight down the chimney. If the chimney cap has been damaged or is missing, rain, ice, and snow can easily fall down the chimney and cause water damage. In addition to allowing water to leak into the chimney, a missing chimney cap can allow debris and pests to enter the chimney, causing further damage to the chimney.

Cracked Crown

The crown of the chimney is the concrete surface at the very top of the chimney. The crown can also eventually crack, allowing water to seep in. As with leaks in the masonry, the problem can quickly compound as water in the concrete expands and contracts.

Wood Siding

Wood siding can cause problems for your chimney because knots in the wood can fall out, allowing water to seep in. In addition, the siding may warp and split, allowing water to penetrate behind the siding and move into the chimney. If your chimney is leaking, call us right away so that we can ascertain the problem and provide a solution as quickly as possible.


Spring Cleaning Your Chimney

Your fireplace has kept your family warm all winter. Now, with spring just around the corner, it’s time to retire the firewood and enjoy the weather. Whether hiring a professional chimney sweep or doing it by yourself, spring cleaning your chimney is a great way to get rid of the soot that has accumulated during the season and to prepare it for use next fall. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you along the way.

  1. Check your chimney for animals. Because chimneys are warm during the winter months, they make great homes for critters. You can usually get a good idea if there’s anything up there by shining a flashlight through the bottom. If you see eyes looking back at you, you’ve got a problem. Birds, raccoons, and mice are just a few of the wild animals that might be making a habitat out of your chimney. If you do find something, be sure to safely remove it before proceeding with cleaning. If necessary, call your local Animal Control for assistance.
  2. Next, measure the size of your flue. You will need specific-sized tools to help you adequately clean your chimney. By determining the size, you will be able to purchase the correct brush and length of rope needed to get the job done.
  3. If you haven’t already, purchase the equipment you need in order to clean your chimney. A brush, extension pipe, tarp, ladder, broom, and protective gear for your eyes are all musts. It would also be a good idea to cover your mouth with a dust mask or handkerchief.
  4. Because cleaning your chimney can be messy, dress in old clothes that can get dirty. You will also need to drape the tarp around the fireplace to protect the carpet. It might be a good idea to cover furniture with sheets as well, just to be safe.
  5. Using the ladder, climb to the top of the roof and begin to clean the chimney from the top down. Follow the instructions on your chimney brush to see exactly how the process will work.
  6. Then, clean the bottom of the chimney through the fireplace. You can use a smaller-bristled brush to reach anything you missed while on the roof.
  7. Clean the fireplace area and dispose of all of the debris. Be sure to vacuum or sweep as needed to ensure that soot doesn’t get tracked all over your home.

If you have any doubts about cleaning your chimney yourself, give Atlanta Chimney Doctors, LLC, a call. We can help you hire a professional chimney sweep or answer any questions that you might have.