Chimney leaks can create moisture-related structural problems, affect the performance of your fireplace or wood-burning stove, and increase the potential for dangerous mold growth. Often, homeowners don’t realize they have a chimney leak until they see water damage on the ceiling or walls around a fireplace. Without prompt attention, a leak can lead to costly repair and reconstruction work.
4 Causes of Chimney Leaks
To recognize and address chimney leaks, homeowners need to understand some of the most common causes, including:
- Weather. On average, Ohio receives over 37 inches of rainfall and between 20 and 100 inches of snowfall each year. With so much precipitation, an unaddressed chimney leak can quickly turn into a major home issue. Masonry chimneys, in particular, can expand and contract based on environmental changes. Cracks in brick, stone, stucco, and cement tend to worsen over time, allowing increasing amounts of water to seep into the home.
- Poor construction. Poorly constructed/waterproofed chimneys can increase the risk for cracks and leaks. Cement is especially prone to cracks if contractors fail to apply and seal it correctly. Improperly installed flashing can also contribute to serious leaks.
- Birds. Woodpeckers generally won’t tap their way through the masonry or metal of a chimney, but they can and will destroy any wood siding encasing a chimney.
- Age. Most houses slightly shift and settle over time. These minute changes in a home can create cracks along walls, ceilings, and in masonry. The first place that will crack on a chimney is often its cement crown – a major cause of chimney leaks in our area.
Many homeowners don’t think about calling a roofing company for annual inspections. Instead, they discover chimney leaks if they can see visible damage on the outside of the home or if they notice moisture marks on the inside. Stains around the chimney often indicate a serious leak somewhere in the system.
How Roofers Detect Chimney Leaks
Professional roofers can easily conduct an inspection and help you pinpoint the site of a chimney leak. Some leaks are visible to the naked eye, while others require a little detective work. Roofers commonly recreate targeted water exposure scenarios to pinpoint the location of difficult leaks.
Some of the most common fixes for minor chimney leaks include applying a waterproofing agent, repairing the crown, installing a crown or chimney cap, and replacing the flashing where the chimney meets the roof of a home. Major repairs may involve replacing all of the damaged parts of a chimney as well as damaged roofing and sub-roofing. To completely resolve the leak and protect your home, we strongly advise partnering with a reputable chimney repair/roofing company over attempting a DIY fix.
Able Roof: Your Chimney Leak Detection Team in Columbus
At Able Roof, we offer free inspections and work estimates for chimney leaks. We’ll send our experienced contractors out to your home to find and photograph the leak. Then, we’ll show you all of your repair options so you can make an informed decision about the health of your home.
To prevent chimney leaks and costly repairs, ask our team about routine maintenance. We can create a personalized plan to keep your chimney and roof performing well over time.