Business License # 00133665 - WCB # 976719
Business License # 00133665 - WCB # 976719
There are home repairs that can be put off for a rainy day, but a leaky chimney is certainly not one of them. Chimney leaks tend to lead to many more problems within the chimney system and should be addressed immediately. When water gets into your chimney system, it can damage just about every part of the chimney, and can even damage the surrounding walls, ceilings, and flooring. If you have a chimney leak that you’re neglecting, it won’t be long before you have a very frustrating and very expensive situation on your hands.
As soon as you see water in or around your chimney, or see signs of water in your firebox, call Villa Building Maintenance . We can thoroughly inspect your chimney system to find where problems may be hiding and work to quickly fix them. We’ll also suggest preventative measures that can help ward off leaks in the future
Brick and mortar, by nature, are porous, but while new bricks, by and large, take in some water, they typically don’t take in so much that it seeps into your flue.
Unfortunately, over time, bricks can begin to deteriorate and start absorbing greater amounts of water, much like a wick or sponge. We may be able to solve this problem by applying a special waterproofing sealant that blocks the entrance of water but still lets vapors escape from inside the chimney like they’re supposed to.
Rain caps: Chimneys without covers get a lot of rain falling straight down into them. A chimney cover makes sense to most people. Not only does it keep the rain out, but keeps birds, animals and debris out. The greatest value of the chimney cover is really keeping these out because when chimneys get blocked at the bottom, people get sick (or even die) from CO poisoning. While it’s true that sometimes an uncovered flue is the source of water problems, most often this reason for a leak is only when the liner is metal. The chimney crown is the cement part on top of the chimney. The bricks go up around the tile flue liners, but at the top you need something to stop the rain and snow from just falling in around the tiles. You can see that the very purpose of the chimney crown is to keep rain out. Cracks in the chimney crown can occur from shifting of the structure or from shrinkage dating back to the first day the crown was put on. When your crown has cracks, the water goes right through those cracks.
The flashing is what keeps water from going into the place where the brick structure comes through the roof (or otherwise comes close to the roof.) There’s a fairly large gap between the bricks and the roof and water will pour through that hole if it’s not sealed up. Flashing is often aluminum that goes in between a couple bricks and bends to go on top of the shingles. Some sort of water proof “stuff” seals those spots. Though it’s far from the best choice, the “stuff” is often tar. In any event, flashing doesn’t last forever and the tar lasts even less time.
Bricks and mortar both pass water, and often lots of it. The problem here is the same as with the chimney crown- the freezing and thawing all winter long with the resulting damage which causes leaks in the house. You have probably heard of waterproofing a chimney, but you have to be careful about what waterproofing material to use. When water is absorbed into a brick or a mortar joint in the summer time, the water probably dries out after a while. The exceptions might be for a surface in the shade or on the side of the house where the sun never shines; those walls just stay wet. That water does try to escape by “falling” i.e. the water weight (or head pressure) carries it toward the ground where it forces its way out of the bricks either inside or outside of the house. If you apply a waterproofing material that physically blocks the pores of the brick or mortar, the water is trapped inside the brick. Some bricks actually get soggy, though it’s more likely that the water will just seep to the inside of the house. To the point, using silicone based water sealants may trap water and cause more damage than you started with.
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