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Water in the chimney spells trouble. Be aware of the common causes of  a leaky chimney so you can help prevent it.

Water in the chimney spells trouble. Be aware of the common causes of a leaky chimney so you can help prevent it.

Unfortunately, when you have a masonry chimney, sooner or later, it is going to leak. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water is your masonry chimney’s biggest enemy. This is due in large part to the fact that the outer part of your chimney is exposed to rain, moisture and the elements, which leads to water penetrating the porous brickwork and mortar of your chimney. This water penetration causes extensive and expensive damage, ranging from rusted fireplace and chimney parts to rotted wood and stained walls and ceilings; extreme cases can even result in moderate to severe chimney structural damage.

You believe you have protected your chimney from water penetration and cannot seem to figure out what is causing your chimney to leak? The CSIA-certified chimney technicians at Ashbusters are experienced at finding the point of origin of chimney leaks, determining what is causing the leak, and repairing the leak, along with any damage it has caused to your chimney and fireplace.

As chimney leaks are difficult to pinpoint, it is helpful to know their main causes. To give you a better idea of where you should focus your attention, the home improvement website, Improvenet by CraftJack, provides the following common sources of chimney leaks:

1. The Mortar Crown or Chimney Cap

If the mortar around the top of your chimney begins to crack and crumble, or if you have a damaged chimney cap with cracks and chips, rainwater is leaking into your chimney from the very top. Since both bricks and mortar are porous, water can be absorbed into your chimney walls and leads to gradual deterioration from within. The solution to this problem is simple, and Ashbusters can help you in selecting and installing a new chimney cap or creating and installing a customized masonry chimney crown and repairing the damaged bricks and mortar around it.

2. Deteriorating Mortar Joints

When mortar joints age and erode, holes develop, and water has another passageway through which to enter the chimney. The amount and size of these holes can and will vary and can become large enough to allow a sizable amount of water in during a heavy rain. Even if the hole is small, water can still seep into the joint, travel to a hole in the brick, and maneuver its way down the chimney. Ashbusters can save the day with our years of masonry and solve this problem by repointing the deteriorated mortar joints with new mortar.

3. Flashing

Your flashing, the metal sheeting that protects the area where your chimney meets your roof, is a common place for water to penetrate your chimney. Even if it looks like it is securely covering the area around your chimney, it only takes one tiny hole for water to enter the chimney. The best solution to this problem is to have your flashing professionally re-fitted and installed. We at Ashbusters are experienced with building complete masonry chimneys, so our CSIA-certified technicians can take care of this flashing job for you.

4. The Roof Shingles Around the Chimney

This is the least common cause for a chimney leak, but if the experts at Ashbusters cannot find the leak in the other 3 areas or anywhere else, you more than likely have damaged and/or loose roof shingles. To solve this problem, you will need to call a roofing expert to diagnose this problem and repair it by replacing the shingles.

If you suspect you have a leaky chimney, do not hesitate to contact Ashbusters today. We will find the leak and repair your problem quickly.