You don’t have to be handy or mechanically inclined to take care of some minor repairs around the house. Of course you should always call a professional if you’re not sure what to do. But in this article, you’ll get 5 handy tips on doing some chimney repairs all by yourself.
Make a Leak Diagnosis
It’s not uncommon to have a problem with leaks. The biggest challenge in repairing a leak is determining where it’s coming from. The good news is that locating a leak is not as difficult as it may seem. However, it’s best to do this on a dry, sunny day.
Use a ladder to carefully climb onto your roof and take a look around your chimney. You should inspect the flashing and look for loose joints, damaged bricks, or anything that seems to be in disrepair. It could be a crack on the side of your chimney, or it could be just some small damage in one particular corner.
Check for Leaks with a Hose
If it hasn’t rained in a few days, then you can use another trick to check for leaks. You’ll need a hose that’s connected to your waterline. Starting at the base of the foundation, you simply need to hose down the chimney. It’s a good idea to have someone on the inside checking for leaks at the same time. A cell phone comes in handy so that you can communicate with each other.
Seal Your Chimney
If you’ve figured out where the leak is, then you should be able to take appropriate action. If there’s a crack, then you can use sealant to cover it. You may also choose to spray your chimney with water repellent sealant that’s specifically made for stone or brick. It’s important to research which type of sealant to use before you go out and buy the wrong thing. If you don’t use the right type of sealant, then you might end up trapping moisture inside your home. That’s the opposite of what you want to achieve.
Flashing Repairs or Replacements
It’s quite possible that your chimney leaks are coming from the flashing around your chimney. The flashing might be damaged or missing. It’s also possible that the flashing isn’t properly overlapping for adequate water protection. You might be able to repair the flashing yourself. If necessary, you could also attempt to completely replace flashing on your own.
And while flashing repairs can be a do-it-yourself job, it’s not a good idea to take on this project if you’re not comfortable with using the tools required for sheet metal applications. In any case, you can always call a chimney repair specialist to do the repairs for you.
Check the Cement Cap
The most difficult part is locating the cause of the leak. If you haven’t found it yet, then it might be the cement cap that’s faulty. Most cement caps have a roof that diverts the water away from the chimney. But over time, the cap or the mortar joints can become damaged and cracked. This is definitely a case for professional chimney repair in Alpharetta, GA.