Leaks aren’t uncommon. Storms and heavy rain often reveal leaks that go otherwise unnoticed the rest of the year. In Kennesaw, you can expect at least a few severe storms every year. This isn’t unexpected, but a leak is something that needs to be handled quickly and professionally. While it’s raining, you may notice rain dripping down the side of your fireplace. You could assume this is a roofing issue, especially if your ceiling appears to be wet. However, it might be your chimney instead. Chimney leaks should always be repaired by chimney specialists. Although roofers are very good at what they do, they don’t have the experience, training, or tools necessary to remedy a chimney leak correctly.
Roofers are often the go-to experts that homeowners call for any leaks that appear to come from above. When it comes to patching or replacing a roof, roofers are certainly excellent at handling those tasks. Chimneys are a different story. In fact, reputable roofers will usually recommend that homeowners contact chimney specialists to repair chimneys. They know it requires skills and tools that they don’t have.
There are many reasons for a leaking chimney. A thorough inspection is needed to identify the specific cause. The chimney cap is a device that’s installed above the crown at the top of the chimney. It’s designed to ensure small animals and debris are kept out of the chimney. If your chimney cap is damaging or missing, this may allow water to get into the exposed chimney. A leak is the natural result.
Underneath the chimney cap is the crown, which is usually made of concrete. It seals the edges of your flue liner. This prevents water from entering and stops leaks from occurring in the first place. Over the years, the crown can become cracked or damaged. This could allow water to enter and leaks to appear.
Below the crown, you’ll notice the primary brickwork of the chimney that sits above and at the roofline. As the bricks are exposed to rain, wind, sun, and debris, their hard outer shells tend to become porous and susceptible to the elements. Eventually, the bricks will begin to absorb moisture and start to decay. This becomes evident in cracking. These cracks could allow water to enter the ceiling above your fireplace. To casual observation, it could look like a roof leak, but the roof isn’t the problem.
Chimney flashing is a thin metal strip. It’s used to attach the chimney to the roof and forms an airtight seal. Of course, it’s not immune to being damaged. Bending could also break the seal and allow rain or moisture to enter. Exposed sections are known to appear when the flashing is bent or harmed.
Obviously, identifying the problem is the first step. A thorough inspection allows chimney specialists to determine the cause of the leak. Once this is done, they can begin addressing the issue and perform any repairs that are needed. Roofers don’t have the knowledge or tools to remedy chimney leaks, but certified specialists do. This is why they’re recommended for the work.
Chimney leaks can often be avoided with annual chimney inspections. It’s a good idea to have your chimney inspected at least once a year to ensure it’s in proper condition. Being proactive is the best way to avoid any problems before they develop or become serious.