When you own a home with a chimney, you should always be alert to the symptoms of a leaky chimney, such as water in your hearth, missing bricks and pieces of mortar from the exterior structure, water stains on the ceiling and walls around your fireplace, and a musty smell coming into your home through the chimney. The reason you should stay aware of chimney leak signs is the amount of damage a leaky chimney can do to your home. Ace Chimney Sweeps always tells our customers to never ignore chimney leaks, and we would like to share with you some information from Inspectapedia to tell you more about the kinds of damage a leaky chimney can do.

Leaky Chimney Image - Elkton MD - Ace Chimney Sweeps

What damage can water leaks do to my chimney?

Water penetration of a masonry chimney can lead to very expensive damage. The most damage from water leaks occurs during the winter when the moisture trapped inside the bricks and mortar freezes and expands. When this frozen water thaws after the temperature rises above freezing, it creates spalling damage of the masonry materials. The bricks and mortar will crack, break, and even fall out of the chimney structure. Spalling damage will cause your chimney to be unsafe to use as the soundness of the structure has been jeopardized by the damaged bricks and mortar. Water leaking into your chimney can also damage your chimney liner with rusting and other corrosion. When your liner becomes rusted, it can break and crack, which also can render your chimney unsafe to use. Toxic gases like carbon monoxide can leak through cracks in a chimney liner to get inside your home.

What kind of damage can a leaky chimney do to my home?

Chimney water leaks can damage your fireplace or other heating appliance by creating rust on its components. If your heating appliance runs on electricity, the wiring can also become damaged and even a possible fire hazard. Water leaking through your chimney can also affect the walls and ceilings around your fireplace and chimney. Water exposure to wood causes rotting, insect infestations, and possible mold growth.

How can water leak into a chimney?

To be best aware of the symptoms of a leaky chimney, it helps to know where leaks commonly originate and why. The most common reasons behind chimney leaks include:

  • missing chimney cap
  • damaged chimney crown
  • flashing problems

If any of the above apply to your chimney, our certified chimney technicians at Ace Chimney Sweep can correct these problems to prevent water from leaking into your chimney. We also perform repair work to chimneys that have been damaged by water leaks. Our expert masons can correct any spalling damage to make your fireplace and chimney safe to use. Contact us to take care of your leaky chimney before the damage gets worse.