Many Roof Leaks are Actually Chimney Leaks


Water leaks are one of the most common chimney problems in homes and it cannot only damage your fireplace appliance but also the walls and ceiling of your home. You may notice water running down your brickwork inside or outside the fireplace or behind the mantel or from your ceiling. Your chimney may also feel damp and leave behind a lime form. If you are concerned there is a leak in your home, but not sure of the source, it is important to get your chimney inspected immediately. Ignored chimney leaks can quickly cause a great deal of damage inside your home.

Listening Can Lead You Nowhere

Some people will tell you that you can actually hear where the leak is coming from if you really listen. Our experience has shown that this is not true. That’s not to say that listening is not important because many people actually “hear” the leak before they start to see any signs of the leak. If you hear drops of water in the fireplace when it rains, make sure the damper is securely closed. If you have a top-down damper or a chimney cap, that should stop it. If you don’t have this type of damper or cap, you may just need to add tone. If you do, and this doesn’t stop the dripping, there is something going on that needs to be addressed.

Spalling brick chimney with three crowns can cause leaks woods in background
Before Crown Coat Chimney Repair
New crown coating on three flue chimney with trees in background
After Crown Coat Chimney Repair

What We Look For And Do When A Chimney Leaks:

  • We look for swollen or damp walls and for further evidence of leaking water down the walls. We check the inside and outside of your chimney thoroughly for cracks and/or deterioration as well as evidence of running water.
  • We inspect the mortar and flashing of your chimney. Spalled brick is often the culprit.
  • We make sure the flashing (the part that connects chimney to the roof) is installed properly.
  • We replace a cracked wash/splay with a waterproof covering.
  • If your chimney is masonry, we apply a commercial-quality waterproof seal and coating.


You might try to look for the leak and even do some of these things if you identify your leak as coming from the chimney system. However, if you are unsure, hire a professional chimney inspection and repair company to look at your chimney. We will be able to further diagnose your water problem and correct it.

Unfortunately, water can cause a lot of unseen damage. It is the hidden damage that can cause chimneys to crack, seep, and in severe cases fall down. This is especially true and dangerous after a lightning storm, high winds or a tornado. In these extreme cases, we always recommend having your chimney inspected before use even if there doesn’t seem to be any damage.

How To Prevent Potential Water Leaks And Other Damage To Your Chimney System

  • Routine Maintenance. Make an appointment to have your chimney inspected and swept every year.
  • Clear gutters of debris regularly, and replace them as needed. Examine downspouts and divert them as necessary.
  • Keep trees above your chimney pruned to prevent water dripping or leaves falling into your chimney.
  • Check for areas of poor drainage and correct them as soon as possible.
  • Repair any leaks in or around your flashing immediately.
  • Make sure sprinklers are not watering your chimney.
  • Find a reputable chimney repair and inspection company like Fire Safe Chimney Sweep to waterproof your chimney and replace any old rusted or cracked parts

Contact us today!

Sometimes chimney’s need relining or a liner restored for the system to work properly. Check out this and all the services we provide for your chimney system.