Why does my chimney leak?
We at Northeast Chimney Sweeps look at over a thousand chimneys each year. Across the board, we see chimney leaks coming from five main sources:
1. Lack of a chimney cap
2. Open mortar joints
3. Flashing / roofing weaknesses
4. Penetration of water through the exposed brick or chimney surface which leads to saturation of the brick / mortar mass
5. Water vapor from high efficiency heating system condenses back to water droplets before escaping the chimney
Answers to those issues are:
1. Installation of a cap
2. Brick and mortar repair
3. Flashing / roof repair
4. Waterproofing of the exposed brick or crown surface
5. Installation of stainless steel flue liner
Water leaks are the most difficult chimney problems we are asked to solve. However, finding correction to water infiltration is important in order to prevent serious chimney interior damage. We always try to start with the most obvious penetration point, and then also make suggestions beyond in case that is not the complete answer to the problem.
It is always nice if the main problem has an easy and cheap solution, and sometimes that is how it works out. For some other chimneys, water intrusion issues are more complex and difficult to solve.
It is important to note that we base our waterproofing technique recommendations, in part, upon what we observe during our visit to the client’s home. We also listen to what our clients report to us about what they have observed during their experience with the leaky chimney. What we then recommend will be in response to all of the collected data. We have had great success in solving hundreds of water leaks into chimneys. However, please note that while we stand behind every service that we provide in terms of quality of materials and installation, we do not promise to solve every water leak. Due the complexity of water penetration issues into homes, we are precluded from doing so. In comparison, we can easily promise to unplug a blocked chimney flue with no uncertainty because we are able to observe a blockage and then later observe that the flue has been fully cleared. Because of the complexity of water leaks, we only promise to faithfully execute the waterproofing methods that we have offered to perform. We suggest that prospective clients with leaky chimneys contact our office. Our Inspection, together with your reported observations, can help to formulate a logical and effective waterproofing plan.