Water Leaks May Be From Your Chimney

Whether you are experiencing a current water leak or just the stains and damage of a prior water leak it’s important to locate the source of the leak and correct the problem before extensive damage is done. Home Safe Hearth & Chimney Inc has investigative resources and tools to help pinpoint the location(s) of the leak(s) and make the necessary repairs for homeowners in the Wichita, Kansas area.

Even if you don’t live in Wichita, tracing water leaks originating in your chimney and properly repairing them are is meticulous tasks and not a DYI project. Water leaks from brick chimneys can cause water to run down the flue, travel along the brickwork to the inside of your home, and cause efflorescence, which is the white lime deposits you see on the brick. Water leaks may even cause your entire chimney to collapse.

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There are numerous causes for chimney leaks including, but limited to insufficient, damaged, or improperly installed flashing, flashing made out of the wrong materials, cracks around the top of the chimney, and/or brick that is too porous. All of these can produce both cosmetic and structural damage and become a breeding ground for mold. Click here to learn more about the dangers of chimney mold. Chimney leaks can also be traced to loose bricks and mortar.

Once you find the source of the leak it is important to have a chimney professional completely repair the problem before sealing and waterproofing the area. If you don’t, all you will be doing is sealing the moisture in and providing the mold a hospitable breeding ground that can be even more destructive.

However, once the source of the leak has been found and corrected, waterproofing the area is the best protection. The most effective sealants are made and sold exclusively to professional chimney technicians and professional masons who have been trained in their use. These products are not sold at mass retailers. They require a skilled application technique to maximize their performance. These sealants are 100% vapor permeable and actually breathe to allow toxic gasses to escape. Be very dubious of any product that does not contain this breathability. Serious consequences including fire and health risks can occur when toxic gasses become trapped in your chimney and cannot be passed into the open air.

When checking for water leaks in your home, be sure to check the basement if you have one. Look for rust, efflorescence, or water damage.

Checking for current and potential water leaks is part of the inspection process CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified chimney technicians perform. They are trained to look in places you don’t have easy access to or haven’t thought to look. CSIA follows the guidelines set by the National Fire Protection Association when recommending that homeowners have a yearly inspection and cleaning of their fireplace and chimney.

The objective is to prevent leaks from forming in the first place. We know that when you are proactive and properly maintain your chimney structure, you can catch problems early before you incur damage as well as repair costs. However, if you do experience leaks and live in the Wichita area, call Home Safe and our professional chimney technicians will help you.

Published by Bart Ogden and tagged with: Tags: , , , , | No Comments

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