A fireplace is an asset to any household for many good reasons. Of course, a fireplace and chimney add warmth and monetary value to a home. However, with all the cozy benefits that fireplaces and chimneys bring, they require a lot of care and maintenance. Additionally, both your fireplace and chimney can experience problems over time. Luckily, there are experienced chimney repair services available to help when these problems occur.
At Chimney Care Plus, our chimney sweep company provides homeowners with professional chimney flashing and chimney inspection services in Frederick and the surrounding areas. With years of experience providing chimney repair services, one of the most devastating problems that happen to a homeowner’s chimney is a water leak. Masonry chimneys are made up of various materials, all of which are affected by water.
In this blog, we are going to look at a few of the most common causes of chimney leaks.
A Faulty Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is an accessory, but it performs a vital function. The chimney cap prevents rain from pouring directly into your chimney and causing various moisture problems. It is installed at the top of the flue and features a small, metal mesh that helps prevent animals and debris from getting inside, but it also helps water run off and away from the flue opening, as well as deflects wind. Of course, without a chimney cap, water would easily get inside and create a moisture problem. However, a faulty chimney cap will also allow water inside. When these caps become damaged, whether due to wear and tear, harsh winds, or animal tampering, it can allow water to flow directly into the chimney flue. Once water is inside your system, it is likely that chimney water damage will occur.
Damaged Chimney Flashing
Chimney flashing is made up of multiple thin sheets of metal, which are meant to form a waterproof seal between the roof and chimney. Flashing is used to protect the vulnerable area where the chimney intersects with the roof. While it is meant to protect water from damaging a chimney system, it is susceptible to leaking for several reasons. First of all, flashing is difficult to install, and without proper installation, it can cause problems over time. Secondly, flashing can eventually begin to rust and develop leaks. Because most chimney leaks are caused by damaged flashing, it is important that your receive regular chimney inspections.
A Worn Out Chimney Crown
A chimney crown, or mortar crown, is the cement surface at the top of the chimney. They are typically designed to meet certain specifications. Quality crowns will slant at least four inches away from the flue and have an overhang of at least two inches. Poor construction or installation of these crowns will cause them to sustain damage quicker than a crown that is well made. Even a well-made crown can crack under the pressure of sun exposure and temperature fluctuations. When cracks develop in the crown, water gets between the flue lining and the chimney, which can cause damage to the chimney system and the structure of a home.
In Virginia, we get our fair share of severe weather conditions. Unfortunately, this is one of the causes of chimney leaks. Even if your cap, crown, and flashing are in good shape, severe weather conditions can cause some issues. When the masonry takes on mass amounts of water over time, it will likely form leaks at one point or another. A helpful way to protect your chimney against severe weather conditions is to add a waterproofing solution to the exterior of the chimney.
As you can see, there are many causes of chimney leaks. One of the most important reasons to schedule an annual chimney inspection is to get the expert assessment by a professional who knows how to identify leaks in a chimney. Whether you are in need of an inspection or chimney leak repair, the experts at Chimney Care Plus can help — contact us today to learn more! We offer chimney repair services for homeowners in Frederick, Mt. Airy, Hagerstown, Myersville, and the surrounding areas.