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Why is my Chimney Leaking?

Updated: Mar 28

When it comes to chimney leaks, there are several sources that could be the cause. We've gathered the most common signs to help identify the reason your chimney could be leaking.

1. Siding or Masonry Issues

A chimney with damaged siding.
Damaged Chimney Siding

The siding of this chimney has begun to deteriorate. Think of siding or brick as the "shell" to your chimney. If the shell is cracked or damaged, it can allow water to slip into these areas.

This type of damage can we caused by exposure to weather over time, improper waterproofing, or isolated debris in the area over a period of time.

The Fix: Remove the siding. Inspect the frame, flashing, and chimney stack for any damage. Make repairs if necessary. Once this is complete, the siding can be reinstalled.

2. Improper Flashing

Improper Chimney Flashing

Proper Chimney Flashing

In the photo on the left, there is no flashing on the side of the chimney. This allows for water to seep into the crack. Running flashing up the side wall of the chimney will prevent any water intrusion.

The fix: Here shingles were removed in the surrounding area, the flashing was replaced, and shingles re-installed.

3. Missing Chimney Cap or Flue Cap

A chimney without a chimney cap.

Chimney without a Chimney Cap

A chimney with a chimney cap.

Properly Installed Chimney Cap

Notice that the opening of the chimney is completely exposed? This allows for the elements to freely fall down the chimney flue. This will no doubt be the source of mystery water coming from the chimney.

The fix: Install a chimney cap or flue cap that directs the elements away from the inside. They can be made custom made or found at any of the big box stores such as Home Depot or Lowes.

4. Prior Damage

Damaged Area Around Chimney

Damaged Area Fixed

The are around this chimney has taken substantial damage. This was likely caused by a leak that was never addressed. While the chimney is flashed and sealed with caulk, the surrounding areas of the roof deck have deteriorated.

The fix: The shingles were completely removed in the areas surrounding the chimney until no deteriorated decking was found. The decking was replaced, ice and water shield applied around the base of the chimney line, flashing installed, and shingles re-installed.

If you're experiencing issues with your chimney, it's best to contact a local, licensed, and insured roofer.

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