The flashing around the base of the chimney is the first line of defense against leaking. The metal (usually galvanized steel, but other types can be used) is installed at the base of the chimney under the layers of shingles and up the side of the chimney. The top of the flashing should be installed so the top edge is bent into a cut groove in the chimney masonry. The joint is then sealed with a flexible sealant to prevent water from seeping around the top of the chimney flashing and into the house. When the sealant is old or cracked, water can get into the house. In addition, many times we find that the flashing was originally installed incorrectly to begin with.
Holes and cracks in the chimney masonry itself can lead to leaks. Water gets into the holes and cracks, then with gravity’s help, the water can seep down right past the flashing and into the house. If there is water still trapped in the masonry during the cold months, it can lead to brick faces popping off and other deterioration of the chimney.
Just like the bad masonry explanation above, water seeps into the cracks and drips down causing damage to the interior of the chimney itself. Again, this can lead to more expensive repairs to the chimney if not addressed.
Water is a naturally occurring by-product when you have a gas-fired appliance. For every 100,000 BTUs of gas that is burned, you are pumping 1 gallon of water into the chimney. If your chimney is not sized properly for the appliance itself, that water (which is normally steam) can condense inside the chimney and run back down. If the current lining system is defective, the water can show up even when it’s not raining. Often times the leaking is most prevalent during the colder time of the year when your heating appliance is working the hardest and the colder temperatures outside cause the flue gases to condense more rapidly.
If your chimney is leaking, do not delay, as it can lead to more expensive repairs in the future. It could also cause your heating appliance to malfunction if the damage to the interior of the chimney is bad enough. Call Smoke Stacks, Inc. today for your chimney leak problem.
We have provided honest and expert chimney and fireplace services to the residents of cities such as Fox Point, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, and Merton for years. Call (262) 797-8181 today for your estimate from Smoke Stacks Inc., Chimney and Fireplace Repair Service!