How to Stop Chimney LeaksMarch 27, 2015
Maryland spring is known for warm weather, blooming flowers and vicious thunderstorms. We might not get tornadoes around here, but the flooding from heavy rains does a good deal of damage to Maryland homes every year. And besides the obvious leaky basement problems, homeowners also have to deal with less obvious leaky roofs and chimneys. Today, we’ll talk about chimney leaks, and how to find them and fix them once and for all.
Signs of a Leaking Chimney:
- water in the hearth
- water stains on the ceiling
- water in the attic
- water stains on basement walls or ceiling (yes, sometimes a leak makes it this far!)
Unfortunately, these signs don’t always appear at the same time as the leak. A chimney leak can go unnoticed for a long time, quietly causing rot and mold in your roof deck, attic or basement. The only way to catch a leak in its early stages is to be on the lookout for the above signs, as well as conduct regular chimney inspections. The condition of the chimney, as well as evidence of deterioration, are often only visible up-close.
Sources and Causes of Chimney Leaks
- The mortared area at the top of the chimney, also known as a “mud cap,” can crack, loosen and let water through.
- Deteriorating mortar joints between the bricks can also be the culprit. Over the years, the joints dry up, crack and crumble away. Water can travel in a zig-zag pattern between the bricks further than you would think.
- Damaged, missing or improper flashing around the chimney.
Solutions to Chimney Leaks
The particular solution you choose will depend on the source of your chimney leak. It’s worth consulting with a Maryland chimney waterproofing expert before you decide on your plan of action.
- Install a flue cap or a full-sized chimney cap to cover the top of the chimney. This will also prevent pesky wildlife from trying to nest inside your chimney.
- Clean out the crumbling mortar and resurface the chimney with a fresh layer.
- Apply masonry water repellant to seal the pores of concrete and brick.
- Repair or replace chimney flashing.
Contact Town & Country Chimney Services online or give us a call if you need help implementing any of the above solutions.