A fireplace is a wonderful way to heat your home on cold, winter nights, providing both warmth and beauty as the fire crackles in the fireplace. As with any other appliance in your home, a fireplace and chimney have basic maintenance requirements to keep them operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The most common issue with an aging chimney is leaks. There are several reasons for leaks, and they can all be addressed with a professional chimney inspection and simple repairs.
“So, why is my chimney leaking?”
Here are 4 things to consider:
- Do you have a cover or cap on your chimney? The most obvious reason a chimney leaks is because there is no cover at the top. A chimney without a cover allows rain, and snow, to just fall right in. And it allows animals to set up nests in your chimney, blocking the flow of air out of your home and potentially allowing a dangerous build-up of Carbon Dioxide. Having a cover or cap installed by a chimney professional could solve your leaking problem.
- Is the crown cracked? The crown is the cement part on top of your chimney. Over time, these deteriorate and form small cracks, allowing rain to seep in. Throughout the winter, the water in the cracks freezes and thaws, quickly creating a bigger problem for the homeowner. Applying crown-coating materials to your crown will seal it and prevent further damage. However, if the damage is already extensive, it may require removal and replacement of the masonry. Chim Chimney employs a full time Master Mason to address these types of issues.
- Condensation will create leaks. This is most common with older chimneys that are not properly updated. Installing the correct chimney liner will often fix this problem.
- Flashing is installed on a chimney to prevent water from going into the place where the brick structure comes through the roof. Often this is an aluminum material that goes in between some bricks and bends to go on top of the shingles. This is sealed with tar and both materials will deteriorate over time. A Chimney Sweep from Chim Chimney can inspect and repair your flashing.
Finally, beware of the chimney leak that isn’t a chimney leak at all! Water may be entering through an attic vent or roof shingle at the top of the roof and traveling to the chimney along the long piece of wood spacing out the roof trusses of your home. Many home-owners have spent a good deal of money fixing the wrong problem before the true cause of the leak was determined.
Regular inspections will prevent small problems from becoming large, expensive problems. For peace of mind when enjoying that wonderful fire, call Chim Chimney and have a licensed, professional Chimney Sweep inspect your chimney.