Chimney leaks can be bothersome during the winter. There are, however, some quick solutions you can do.
Having a chimney leak is twice difficult in winter since you are using your fireplace most of the time. Unfortunately, you might notice a leak as water comes out of the fireplace or through a wall. The first step to fix the problem is to identify the source. Check out these quick tips.
Once you already know the cause of the leak, you can now proceed with a suitable way to fix it in time.
If there is a leak, you must locate the source as soon as possible and fix it immediately.
Hiring a professional like Alexander and Xavier Masonry in Garland, Dallas, Texas is the best thing to do.
While you can still do it yourself, you can call an expert to find the water leak in less time before it can damage the ceiling or wall of your house.
If you choose to get your hands on doing the repair, there are many ways to fix the chimney leaks depending on its source.
Chimney Mortar Joints
Mortar joints will eventually wear and tear with holes or missing parts. This would allow the water to enter the fireplace when the rain pours. Upon entry, the rain will travel to brick holes and find its way past the flashing. This is traced by long water stains in the ceiling or attic, which leads to damage of bricks or slab cracks.
Quick Tip: Apply new mortar on leaking mortar joints.
The plastered area on top of chimneys usually leads to water leaks. When the mortar is cracked or loose, water can get inside the fireplace. Water found in the brick hole or hearth is a usual sign, but some obstructions in the brick may cause the water to find another way toward another area at home.
Quick Tip: The chimney cap can only be fixed by changing the mortar cap and tucking in a flue cap. Another option is attaching a metal cover for the whole chimney top, instead of just a flue cap.
Since the crown is on top of the chimney, the problem with water leaks caused by weather and environmental conditions is apparent. A chimney sweep can easily look for cracks or leaks.
Quick Tip: Applying silicone sealant around the bricks in the crown is better than a polyurethane one.
Finding leaks inside and around the flashing is even quite difficult. You may find a huge amount of water from just a small hole.
Quick Tip: Flashing issues require expert skills. In fact, even some residential roofers still do not know proper re-flashing. Meanwhile, a sheet metal liner or expert roofing contractors know how to do the work properly.
It is unusual for roof shingles to come with chimney leaks. However, if you find leaking shingles, immediately call an expert.
Quick Tip: Damaged or leaking roof shingles require more than a surface seal. Instead, you should replace leaking or missing shingles.
First, it’s best if you have a partner or group of three or four persons when searching for a leaky chimney. Make sure to have mobile phones, cordless phones, or walkie-talkies to keep constant communication between the person observing inside the house and the one checking on the roof or home attic.
Here are some things you will need:
Generally, many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover common chimney works like the replacement of chimney cover, damper, and masonry repairs on bricks. Insurance will deny claims if the water leak caused by poor maintenance, owner’s neglect, or chimney’s normal wear and tear. Only damages caused by unforeseen events like fire, wind damage, or flash flood are covered.
While you can watch thousands of YouTube videos to learn how to repair yourself, it is better to see the help of experts especially for roofing or sheet metal contractors. For masonry chimney repair, it will cost about $1,192 while shingles or flashing works cost about $654.
Especially during winter, repairing a chimney leak is often a long, tedious process. You can always get help from the experts.