A chimney leak usually presents itself as a water stain near the fireplace or water itself on the masonry’s brick face. Always presenting themselves professionally, qualified chimney sweeps are the ones to deal with the leak. Finally turning up where it can be seen, the problem probably started with either the flashing or the cap for the chimney. The entire fireplace system needs an inspection as a result, since water could have easily damaged other components.
Who’s Behind the Leak?
Before you curse your roofer or your chimney installer, remember that time itself lets water steadily erode any mortar it passes over. Remember that mortar will degrade over time. The important thing is to fix the problem at its source and identify other damage it may have caused.
Identifying the source of the leak is the first thing a sweep will do, first checking the top of the chimney. Cracks in mortar and dried caulk can allow water to get behind the chimney’s flashing or slip through the cap. Porous brick may be admitting water in heavy rain, absolving the chimney of any responsibility for the leak.
How Do You Plug It?
Not quite as simple as that makes it sound, repairing a chimney leak is not exactly like dropping a plug into the bathtub. It is a similar concept though, since what is needed is a watertight seal that prevents water from going down the chimney. That can be relatively easy to fix, or in some cases it may involve tearing out crumbling brick and starting again.
Before you decide just to slap a little new mortar up there and carry on, have the fireplace system inspected by a certified chimney sweep. When water enters the chimney, it stays there, freezing and thawing, shrinking and stretching, compromising the whole system. Let a professional take a look, so you do not end up with a very preventable tragedy.