How to Fix a Chimney Roof Leak

A leak around a chimney can be a severe problem for you and your home. What can start as a few drops being allowed entry can turn into a cascade of moisture-related disasters, from ruined flooring to pest intrusion. Moisture can even destroy the chimney itself, cracking mortar, ruining brick, and allowing mold and other fungal matter to grow, spread, and take hold. All of this means that if you notice a Kennesaw, GA, chimney roof leak, you need to do something about it right away.

The Cause

Your first step is to identify the cause of the problem. Where is the moisture coming from? How is the leaky water you notice inside your home getting there in the first place? For the most part, a leaking chimney can be attributed to problems with roof flashing, or the metallic layer on your roof that seals the transition between your roof shingles and the chimney brick. Think of it as a firm, metallic bandage over the open cut between those 2 materials. When the flashing separates from the brick of your chimney, moisture can begin to seep into your house. Rainwater, dew, and melted ice can all leak inside and cause destruction.

The Solution

Repairing loose chimney flashing is your first step to recovery. Address this problem first and foremost, then you can take care of any signs of moisture damage, including repairing the chimney brick and mortar. Here are the 4 steps every chimney sweep and chimney repair professional knows for addressing a leak:

  • Clean the area around the flashing. Remove debris, from leaves down to specks of dirt, out of the gap that has formed between the chimney and the flashing.
  • Replace the cement. Chisel out any hardened roofing cement. The cement will need to be reapplied to secure the flashing again. Apply a new layer.
  • Secure the old flashing or replace the damaged flashing. Be sure that it is completely airtight against the chimney so that it can hold back moisture. Screw it on or nail it using masonry nails.
  • Finally, apply more roofing cement to cover any remaining joints. Cover all nails or screw heads, then cover the join between the flashing and brick. Use a putty knife to smooth it out. This creates a double layer of water leak prevention.

Where to Start

Though you can certainly do the above repairs yourself, the course of action that best guarantees a longer-lasting layer of flashing and more years without leaks is to hire a professional. If you have a chimney roof leak, a chimney repair contractor can repair the damage and make your home leak-free again.