Chimney leaking is more than just an inconvenience—if not properly resolved, it can snowball into severe issues for your home. These problems peak during the autumn months, when rainstorms and colder weather roll through.
Continue reading to discover more about the importance of chimney leaking, including:
- Fall chimney issues
- Signs your chimney is leaking
- Tips to stop your chimney from leaking
Fall brings a variety of environmental factors that can cause your chimney to leak, with some of the most common being:
Chimneys are constructed from brick and mortar, which can be severely affected by water saturation. During the colder months, moisture in your masonry can freeze, causing stress and forming cracks in the chimney. These cracks degrade your chimney’s structural integrity, increasing the risk of leaks when it rains.
Autumn brings its fair share of rainstorms, which can damage or dislodge your chimney cap. This allows water to leak inside the flue and fireplace. Leaky chimney caps can also damage the interior masonry, chimney liner, and firebox, causing the damper to corrode and lose its airtight seal.
If you’ve experienced any of these environmental issues, watch out for signs your chimney is leaking.
The first sign of a leaky chimney is seen in the color of your structure. When most homeowners see black spots on their chimneys, they assume it’s just soot. However, it’s often something much worse during the fall months—mold.
Autumn’s frequent rain and cool temperatures make the perfect conditions for mold on your chimney. If your structure leaks, the stagnant water will soon become visible black mold.
If you notice pieces of mortar on the ground, that’s another indicator you may have a leaky chimney. During the freezing and thawing process, cracks in the chimney eventually degrade your structure, causing pieces of brick and mortar to fall off.
Another telltale sign your chimney is leaking is condensation lining the walls of your fireplace. To determine how severe the leak is, place the back of your hand on the damp area and compare that to the drier parts. By evaluating the degree of condensation, you can determine where the leak is coming from—and how serious it is.
Stagnant water in your chimney can eventually lead to unwelcome odors as the water mixes with creosote buildup from previous fires. If your chimney smells musty, this is a solid indicator your chimney is leaking.
If you hear dripping water in your fireplace during rainstorms, you can assume your internal chimney structure is damaged. Dripping water can be due to cracked bricks, broken caps, or gutter issues, but regardless of the cause, it’s imperative to stop your chimney from leaking before your house takes on water damage.
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, don’t fret. You can take a few precautions to reduce the damage from leaky chimneys.
If your chimney is crumbling, it’s time to invest in a professional tuckpointing service. Tuckpointing refers to the process of filling damaged masonry with new mortar, sealing gaps in your chimney and keeping water from entering your home.
Because masonry materials are naturally porous, waterproofing your chimney reduces the chances of your masonry becoming waterlogged this fall. Reach out to your local chimney provider, as they likely offer waterproofing services to fill weak points and seal cracked materials.
A cricket directs rainwater away from your chimney, reducing the chances of water trickling into your home through damaged flashing or cracked masonry. Most chimney providers offer cricket installation services, which are a quick and easy way to invest in the longevity of your chimney.
The most important step to stopping a leaky chimney is scheduling a professional inspection. A professional can assess the status of your chimney to see where it’s falling short. From there, they can recommend the best path to take regarding chimney leak repairs. During the fall months, sealing procedures are one of the most common solutions, as they fill cracks while waterproofing your chimney.
Working with an ill-suited chimney and roof repair company can cause serious damage to your home, creating safety hazards like fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you’re looking for a professional chimney expert you can trust, turn to Approved Home Improvements.
With over 37 years in the industry, Approved Home Improvements offers free chimney inspections for homeowners throughout the St. Louis Metro area. Our expert technicians assess your chimney, keeping you ahead of chimney leaking issues before the fall weather takes its toll. Even brand-new masonry homes should have a preservation package on the chimney to prevent thousands of dollars in future maintenance, and AHI can set you up.
Keep your chimney dry this autumn with the help of AHI—schedule your free inspection today.