…….and May flowers which the rain is great for along with our gardens and wells but not so much for masonry chimneys – especially ones that have suffered damage from the cold New England weather. Signs of leaky chimneys can be water in your firebox, a rusty fireplace damper, water in your basement, staining on your ceiling as well as damaged wallpaper surrounding the chimney area.
WHY DOES YOUR CHIMNEY LEAK?
If the chimney does not have a cap it is possible that the rain is falling straight down the chimney, the crown (the cement part on top of the chimney) is cracked and rain/snow is falling down in, the chimney is leaking from the inside out (which would be why wallpaper is damaged) due to condensation from burning a gas appliance (which means the chimney probably isn’t lined). The flashing ( material used to keep water from entering into the area where the chimney protrudes through the roof line) needs to be repaired/replaced or the leaks are coming through the brick due to their porous construction.
Sometimes, a leak starts in a different place such as your roof but finds its way to the chimney, and then visibly enters the inside of a room at the point of the chimney which can make it tricky to assess where the actual leak is coming from especially if the chimney has no obvious signs of being compromised.
WHY DOES COLD WEATHER AFFECT CHIMNEYS?
Chimneys are built from porous materials (brick & mortar) – over the course of the winter, your chimney absorbs the melting snow/rain and when it goes below 32 degrees, as we all know, freezing takes place. Chimney damage occurs when we start to thaw out. The brick and mortar expand creating cracks and or spalling (faces of the brick fall off) which in turn means a point of entry for water and leaking to occur.
WHAT CAN DON’S STOVE & CHIMNEY DO TO HELP WITH LEAKY CHIMNEYS?
We offer services such as cap installation, flashing repair, crown repair to fix the cracks on top or crown reconstruction (depending on the damage) as well as a professional waterproofing treatment which will halt the water from penetrating through the bricks and mortar all while still allowing the chimney to breathe (allowing any moisture/vapors on the inside to escape). Sealants should never be used since these products will lead to more damage. Our waterproofing treatment has a warranty of 12 years.
Chimney maintenance is our specialty so give us a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to discuss our recommendations for your leaky chimney.