Santa's Friend Chimney Service

That Roof Leak Could Possibly Be a Chimney Leak

Many homeowners see water dripping from their attics or upper story ceilings and immediately assume that the roof is leaking. In some cases, the chimney may actually be the source of the problem. The chimney sits atop the home, where it vents hot air and smoke from the fireplace. It is often neglected until it stops doing its job, which can prevent many homeowners from realizing that there is a problem in the area.

Santa's Friend Chimney - That roof leak might be a chimney leak

Chimneys may look simple but they feature intricate construction and perform complex tasks. A masonry chimney can suffer at the hands of weather conditions, resulting in loose masonry, an obstructed flue, or a damaged liner. The brick, concrete, mortar, stone, cast iron, steel, and flue tile present in many chimneys are adversely affected when they come in contact with or are penetrated by water.

After prolonged contact with water, most materials that form a masonry chimney will deteriorate. Freezing and thawing can cause masonry materials to erode rapidly because the expanding and freezing process causes undue stress on the materials. Water can also rust cast iron, steel, and other metals used in the chimney, weakening or destroying these components.

When water penetrates the chimney, it can deteriorate the masonry or metal firebox and rot wood adjacent to the fireplace. The chimney exterior and walls and ceilings within the home may develop water stains. Mortar on the chimney exterior can decay and the chimney flue liner may deteriorate or crack. Even the support for the hearth can be affected, resulting in collapse.

Homeowners who suspect a roof leak should contact a professional to ensure that it is not really a chimney leak. Chimney crown, flashing, or mortar joint repair or replacement may solve the problem. Installing a chimney cap can prevent future water penetration and has the added benefit of deterring animals from nesting in the chimney.

By on November 9th, 2012 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment