How could I get a Chimney Leak sorted out?

A chimney leak is a problem you need to address as soon as possible. It does not matter how the water comes in. Regardless of whether it enters through the masonry itself, the flashing, the roof, or right down the uncapped flue, water will persistently destroy your chimney. Water affects also the materials that are the building blocks of masonry. Therefore, whenever there is a water leak in your chimney, addressing the problem immediately is a must.

Water damage to the Chimney
As we formerly stated, it doesn’t matter where the water leak comes from, or its cause. Also, the kind of water that is causing the leak, is also not important. Depending on the season of the year, it could be snow or rain but regardless of its origin, it will progressively damage your chimney. During the winter season, the water freezes during low temperatures and expands, causing even more damage due to a process called the freeze and thaw cycle. This process causes spalling masonry, among other winter damages in your house. As you can see, water has the power of damaging your chimney in many ways and this represents extra expenses you will need to incur to prevent a decrease in the safety and efficiency of your system.
Among the damages water may cause to your chimney, we can mention:

  • Deterioration – The elements that make up the hearth, central heating system, flue liner, and exterior mortar.
  • Rust – The damper elements, chimney accessories, glass doors, and adjacent woodwork
  • Staining – there might appear stains of different colors on the walls and the ceiling. The exterior of the chimney may show white, red, or brown, and greenish or black stains as well. Each of these stains indicates a different problem with your chimney that you need to address properly.
  • Collapse – Any alteration of the chimney structure, such as tilting, collapsing, and/or settling of the structure.

Seeing the long list of possible water damage in the chimney, homeowners get alarmed when they find signs of water in the chimney. However, it is worth remembering that the first step to solving the problem is to become aware of its existence.

Findings that may indicate a chimney leak
In many cases, homeowners just notice signs of a chimney leak when it is already quite late and severe damage has already been caused. That is why every homeowner should pay attention to any problem signs and when this happens, he should take care of it as soon as possible. The signs of a problem may vary, but we can summarize them by saying that whenever your chimney and fireplace start to work improperly, you should assume that there is a problem. Nevertheless, there are some others as well. Among them we can mention:

  • Sounds of dripping water or visible dripping in the fireplace or inside the chimney.  This can be caused by a leak.
  • The odor of mildew or dirty laundry indicates the presence of water. If there is moisture in the chimney, mold may start growing. This will determine the appearance of some dark greenish stains in the fireplace.
  • When water passes through masonry, it may leave some minerals behind. These minerals stain bricks and mortar with white color and a powdery look.
  • Rust usually causes red or brown stains at the top of the chimney to appear. This rust likely indicates a damaged or dislodged cap or chase cover on the chimney.

If you have any leaks either near the chimney or in other areas of the house, those leaks are usually originated from a chimney leak.

Do you think you need a chimney repair?

Whenever you think there is a chimney leak in your house, you need to call an expert to confirm or discard its existence. We are not talking about a roofer or a general contractor, but a certified chimney sweep. A general contractor cannot repair flashing (the most common cause of chimney leaks) or diagnose a chimney problem. Only a certified chimney sweep will diagnose and repair your chimney leak if any, so it can work again within the required standards of safety and efficiency. The sooner you get your chimney repaired, the less expensive the repairing costs will be. Be aware that among those costs you’ll have to consider tuckpointing, damaged wall coverings, buckled paint, furniture, and more. Also, you should know that water damage includes not only damage to your house but also to your belongings and air quality.

Chimney repairs in your area and beyond

When you hire Amsterdam Enterprises to take care of a chimney leak, our professionals will first check the flashing. Over time, it can become spontaneously dislodged or it also may have been caused by an animal. Should this be the case, they can sort the problem out in no time. Our crew can also install chimney caps when they’re dislodged or damaged, repair or replace chimney crowns, and do any necessary masonry restoration as well. Unlike a general contractor we can repair the damage to your home caused by a leak, and have the specialized skill to also  repair the chimney.

We apply a vapor-permeable water repellent to the chimney so that water cannot penetrate the porous masonry. Normally the chimney masonry is porous so it ‘breathes’ while it’s venting the fire. This characteristic is what makes masonry the perfect material for chimneys but, at the same time, it may also be a disadvantage, as it makes it more vulnerable to water damage. Our masonry work uses water repellent that penetrates deeply into it. This prevents the water from passing through later on, while still allowing vapor and heat to escape the chimney. This treatment lasts for years and protects your masonry from water penetration very efficiently, and without losing its original functionality.

Every time you detect a chimney leak, the first that comes to your mind is money. Nevertheless, calling a professional as soon as the issue arises, may prevent more severe damage from happening. This will also keep the repairing costs of your chimney and house much lower than they would be if you don’t take action fast. So, our best advice when you discover a problem with your chimney is to contact us and schedule a visit online.