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Moisture Problems & Common Causes of Leaks

What Causes a Leaky ChimneyExcess moisture in a home is not a good thing. It is very important to identify the cause when you have a leaky chimney. There are numerous reasons it is never a good idea to put off the repair of a leak, especially a chimney leak.

Problems Caused by Moisture

Moisture caused by leaks creates numerous problems, and some are very costly to repair. Others are bad for your health. The following are among the problems caused by excess moisture from a leaky chimney:

  • If the water gets into the walls, it destroys or seriously damages every type of finish, including plaster, wallpaper, paneling, and paint.
  • Mold thrives on moisture. If there is a leak in your chimney, one thing that can happen is that you could end up with moldy wood, which can eventually cause a negative affect the health of everyone in the home.
  • Moisture causes wood to rot. Not only will the wood need to be replaced, but the moist wood attracts carpenter ants, rodents, and dreaded termites.
  • Water leaks are not static. The moisture easily spreads around an causes damage to other parts of your home.

Causes of Chimney Leaks

There are other potential culprits, when a home has problems caused by leaks, but here we focus on chimney leaks. As our chimney professionals are well aware, leaky chimneys are not uncommon. There are numerous possible causes of chimney leaks, and the following are a few of them:

Faulty Flashing

The metal part of the chimney, which is meant to form a waterproof seal between roof and chimney, is susceptible to leaking for several reasons. First of all, flashing is difficult to correctly install. Secondly, flashing tends to rust and develop leaks. The flashing should be inspected regularly. This feature of the chimney is less durable than probably any other component. Leaks can develop where the nails are or toward the top, if there isn’t an effective waterproof seal. Flashing leaks often cause a lot of damage before they are detected. Our chimney professionals recommend checking the area around the chimney as seen in the attic. These leaks can cause serious structural damage, which can be very expensive to repair. The sooner the leak is identified, the less costly the needed repairs are likely to be.

Deteriorating Mortar

The life of the mortar that cements masonry and holds it together is not usually any longer than 25 years, while the bricks or stone lasts well over a century. When the mortar begins to deteriorate, moisture is allowed to pour into the chimney structure. The saturated masonry freezes and thaws in winter; and all of the movement causes the masonry face to pop or flake off. If the mortar isn’t replaced, the chimney can lean or collapse.

No Chimney Cap

A chimney cap is an accessory, but it performs a vital function. The chimney cap prevents rain from pouring directly into your chimney and causing various moisture problems.

Cracked Crown

Cracked Chimney CrownThe cement surface at the top of the chimney is the crown, and it sometimes needs to be replaced or repaired. When cracks develop in the crown, water gets between the flue lining and the chimney, which can cause damage to ceilings and walls.

One of the most important reasons to schedule an annual chimney inspection is to get the expert assessment of a pro who knows how to identify leaks in a chimney. Contact our chimney technicians today for an inspection, and put a stop to any hidden or obvious leaks in your chimney.

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