07 Dec What To Do? Heavy Rains Means Leaky Chimneys
Many people had their chimneys fixed multiple times, only to have them leak again during storms with high winds and rain. Even though it shows a redone flashing on top, there is still a problem. Cracks can easily form due to mortar failing or being too weak for heavy rains. These penetrate deep into bricks under pressure driving rainwater towards the ground level. Learn how to deal with your leaky chimney for heavy rain.
What Causes Chimney Leaks?
To prevent heavy rains from penetrating your chimney, you need to make sure everything is in working order. In some cases, this means checking the mortar as well as the flashing around it. A drain is also essential for heavy rain waters because when one overflows or fails, water will become driven towards the lowest point near the ground.
Unfortunately, heavy rains usually mean leaks because the mortar is not strong enough to hold everything together. Though there are other causes for leaks, this is the most common one. It also takes heavy winds before an actual leak occurs. So heavy rains are what cause extensive damage.
One of the biggest causes for leaking chimneys is when there is no chase cover, crown, or cap. This can lead to rainwater getting inside and snow accumulating on top. It could cause major damage down the line when not fixed immediately!
Common Causes of Chimney Leaks
Familiarize yourself with six common causes of chimney leaks that you may experience. Below is a guide:
The most basic of leaks is a cap. This is because the metal on top has become rusted or warped, allowing heavy rains to penetrate through. Without a professional opinion, it is hard to tell when water damage inside has occurred already. Even though heavy rains are responsible for most cases, other causes do exist.
Chimney caps are the standard covering that should appear on top of every chimney. These keep elements, animals, and other objects from entering your home through any cracks in or around it as they might damage what is inside.
This can become a firebox flooring lined with flue tiles that provide heat energy needed for cooking food items to dry out. Another is an exhaust pipe bringing fresh air into your homes where you live safely away from chemical dangers found outside. A good cap is necessary for all of those technical aspects to work together beautifully.
When you have a metal chimney, there is a good chance that the installation of the flashing is incorrect. This is usually from bad installation or heavy rains. The most common areas for heavy rain penetration are at the roof and top of the chimney.
A flashing helps divert water away from your home and is a curved metal sheet to fit the shape of your roof. Install this around the chimney at the roofline. When doing it incorrectly, water can easily enter and cause major damage over time.
Use flashing to protect your roof and chimney from moisture penetration. This waterproof seal can last over 30 years. Factors like where you live, the shape or size of your fireplace as well as utilized materials when constructing them both externally and internally affect it.
A faulty flashing may allow water into one’s home’s foundation or lead directly downwind causing an adverse effect such as rot.
Poor chimney development and heavy rains make a deadly combination! What is worse is that this damage may not become apparent until heavy rains occur. The heavy rains might then result in freeze, thaw, or ice dam damages.
Masonry, such as bricks, needs to withstand summer heat and winter cold extremes without breaking apart. They also need to become watertight and resist acidic vapors dissolving them. All of these factors are important when choosing the right brick for your chimney.
When you live in an area famous for heavy rains, it is best to use a rain-resistant type of mortar called Type M when having your chimney reconstructed. This will provide more of a safety net from heavy rains. When you use this for your chimney rebuild, it is best to go with recently manufactured brick masonry. Oppose this to older bricks which may not function as heavy-duty and strong anymore.
You are most likely to have heavy rains enter your chimney through the crown when there is no cap, heavy rains, or winds coming in contact with it. A big problem with heavy rains is that they can lead to water penetration deep inside the masonry of the stack. When this occurs, you will need an emergency brick or metal repair.
The crown is the very top of your chimney. It provides support to rainwater coming off the roof via heavy rains. This helps it flow smoothly over the stack and down into the flue tile. It also forms a tight seal against heavy winds that may come during storms or hurricanes. Crown damage from heavy rains which seep inside the chimney can lead to serious water damage inside. It would need an emergency brick or metal repair!
The presence of a chimney liner may not become the first thing heavy rains cause you to think of. This might become a factor that you easily forget until it becomes a problem. A liner protects the masonry and mortar from heat and corrosive byproducts of fires. It also helps to keep the flue clean.
When heavy rains occur, the masonry becomes saturated with water. As this happens, it can seep through and damage your chimney on its way to penetrating inside the home. A heavy-duty liner such as stainless steel will protect against heavy rains and prevent this from happening. Treated masonry with a heavy-duty water repellent sealant will also work.
It is important to get your chimney inspected regularly, especially when you live in an area that experiences heavy rains. This will help to prevent any costly damage that might occur as a result.
Roof Leaks Around The Chimney
While heavy rains can easily enter your home through a leaky chimney, there are ways to prevent this from happening. One way is to install proper flashing around it. Another way is to make sure that the masonry and mortar are in good condition. When they are not, you will need to have them repaired.
A chimney’s crowning glory is typically what causes leaks around fireplaces. Leaks can become hard to identify. But they often come from gaps or cracks in metal flashing used for joining a chimney with the roof above it. This type of leak has become known as an exterior fascia tear and chimneys have four.
Roof stays should also have an inspection when there is any moisture pooling on them after heavy rains. These are potential signifiers that water damage may have compromised a thing.
Symptoms of a Leaky Chimney
How can you tell if your chimney is leaking during heavy rains?
- Water stains on the ceiling or walls near the fireplace.
- Mold or mildew in the area.
- A musty smell in the home.
- The sound of running water, which could mean that water is coming into the home through the chimney.
- Water dripping from the fireplace.
- Damage to the chimney cap or flashing.
- Crumbling brick or mortar.
- Black marks on the walls or ceilings near the fireplace.
- Sagging rooflines.
- Water or condensation inside the firebox water-saturated chimney inside.
- Cracked interior or exterior masonry.
- Sound of dripping water in the chimney.
- Flaking of the brick or stone on interior or exterior
When you have any of these symptoms, it is best to call a professional Long Island chimney repair company to come and take a look at your chimney. They can determine the cause of the leak and provide you with the necessary repairs.
The chimney is a complex structure with many different parts and pieces. Water, in particular, tends to cause trouble for all of these components. This is due to both its effects as well as how easily it penetrates deep into cracks or joints where it can wreak havoc on your home’s structural integrity from freezing or thawing cycles repeatedly over time.
Signs of a Leaky Chimney
The most common sign that your chimney might leak from heavy rains is water damage, especially to areas around the fireplace. This may include brick mortar joints or crown flashings. Sagging rooflines can also indicate heavy rain damage inside.
Another clue is an accumulation of debris inside the home near the fireplace, such as leaves and twigs. Water stains on the ceiling and walls, as well as black marks indicative of soot, might also appear. A musty smell can also become a sign that there is water damage in the area.
When you hear the sound of running water near the fireplace, it could mean that water is coming into the home through the chimney. You might also see water dripping from the fireplace. Water damage from heavy rains can become quite costly without proper attention right away!
Dangers of Water in Your Chimney
The water inside your chimney can come from heavy rains around the area. Ice dams can also create it. When heavy rain or other water damages your chimney, there are some potential dangers to consider:
Structural damage. Without heavy-duty waterproofing applied properly, heavy rains and accumulated water will weaken the masonry, mortar, and metal flashing around your chimney. This can cause bricks to crumble, rooflines to sag, and even the entire chimney to collapse.
Fire hazards. Soot and water can create a dangerous slurry that will quickly spread fire when there is one burning in the fireplace.
Mold and mildew. These dangerous organisms can thrive in wet environments. They can quickly grow and spread in the crawlspace or attic! That is without properly addressing water damage from heavy rains. They can also cause extensive health problems for you and your family.
What to Do If You Suspect a Leaky Chimney?
When you notice any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to call a professional for an inspection. They can access your chimney and inspect it from inside and out. As necessary, they will make any repairs needed before heavy rains come again.
Otherwise, heavy rains could cause sinkholes or localized flooding that would become dangerous to your foundation and home. When in doubt, it is always better to stay safe than sorry.
The heavy rains you experience can cause your chimney to leak. That is due to damage to the chimney cap or flashing. Crumbling brick or mortar, black marks on surfaces near the fireplace, and water penetration are all signs of heavy rain damage in your chimney. When heavy rains cause water damage to the chimney structure, it can become dangerous for fires that you light inside your home.
Preventing Chimney Leaks
The best way to prevent heavy rainfall damage is to install a heavy-duty cap on your chimney. You can customize this to fit the exterior of your home and provide waterproof protection from heavy rains, ice dams, or other water damage. Choose a quality flashing product for the top of your chimney as well as ground-level sealants, caulking, and membranes that waterproof the entire exterior.
Other heavy rainfall solutions for your chimney include:
- Waterproofing paint
- Chimney sealants
- Caulk and insulation wrap
- Heavy cap installation
The best way to prevent chimney leaks is by having regular preventative maintenance done on your fireplace and masonry. Annual inspections can often identify any new damage, allowing you time for repairs before it leads to a leaky roof or wall.
Chimney Services in Long Island
When heavy rains are causing your chimney to leak, you must have a professional inspect it right away! They can identify the source of the damage and make proper repairs. The last thing you want to do is light a fire in your home while there is significant water damage present! Always consult with a professional when you have any concerns about the safety of your chimney.
Choose a team of experienced chimney repair professionals who can help you keep your chimney safe and watertight this winter! Contact them today for a free consultation!
The experts at Pro-Tech Chimney can find and fix your leak, keeping you safe from more costly damage down the line. Waterproofing your chimney is a fabulous way to protect the integrity of such an investment! Enjoy your home without worrying about leaks or damage, all while enjoying its sleek and clean appearance!