Spring and summer rain showers and thunderstorms are often a welcome change from the oppressive heat. In addition to cooling off Logan, these rainstorms also green up our gardens and fill up rivers and lakes.
Unfortunately, heavy rain can also lead to a leaky chimney. Chimney leaks are one of the most common chimney problems we see during the summertime. Even chimneys without previous problems can develop leaks, and suffer water damage, in as little as one season.
Because of the size and complexity of chimney systems, leaks are often not recognized until they’ve already caused significant damage. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to see visible water in the fireplace or flue. Some of the signs that may indicate your chimney is leaking.
Causes of Chimney Leaks
Although chimneys look like simple brick or stone columns, they are actually complex structures with many elements. Because the chimney is constantly exposed to the elements, its masonry is at greater risk for damage and breakdown. Bricks can crumble and groups can degrade.
Another cause can be as simple as rain coming straight in from the top. Chimneys without proper covers get a lot of rain falling straight down into them; leaks can further develop when the liner is metal.
If the physical components get damaged, water can get in. For example, the chimney cap protects the top of your flue from water entry, as well as animals and debris. Without a properly fitted chimney cap, the flue and fireplace are left completely exposed to water entry from rain. Cracks in this crown can result from shifting of the structure; the water goes right through those cracks.
“Flashing” is the watertight strips that seal the seam between your roof and the chimney structure. If the flashing is incorrectly installed, damaged, or merely loses its seal due to wear and tear or age, water can easily seep through any gaps. This can cause water damage to not only the roof and chimney but also the ceilings and walls around the chimney; which in turn can lead to cleanup costs.
Chimneys Leaking From the Inside Out from Condensation
Less common but more perplexing is similar to leaky windows when the A/C is on– a build-up of condensation. For example, an older house with an unlined brick chimney might be upgraded to an HVAC system. If the chimney was not lined with a properly sized liner, condensation might leak down the inside of the chimney into the house.
If a summer rainstorm has left you with a leaky chimney, or you find any other signs of water damage, call for help. Since 2010, Sierra Restoration has treated each assignment not just as a job, but as an opportunity to help a friend. When you contact our team for your water damage cleanup needs, you don’t just get a highly-experienced team that specializes in high-quality water removal and cleanup services, but you are choosing a company that is fully licensed to handle all reconstruction work that may need to happen after any water or mold problem.