One thing that homeowners dread is the sight of stained and sagging ceiling tiles. Those unsightly brown stains and slightly drooping tiles or even wallboards can mean only one thing, and that’s that there is a leak somewhere. If you see these leaks around your fireplace, chances are that that’s where you’ll find your leak. But what part of your chimney or fireplace might be leaking? There are many different possible sources of leaks, and when you call the experts from Alpine Chimney Sweeps in, we know just where to start looking.
When it comes to chimney leaks, the place to start looking is right at the top. There are two main things to look at: the chimney cap and the chimney crown. The chimney crown is located at the very top of your chimney, constructed as a part of the chimney itself. Sometimes contractors make the mistake of building the chimney crown out of the same mortar that the bricks are held together with, and that can be a source of trouble. This material isn’t strong enough to undergo the constant weathering that the crown is exposed to. Your chimney crown should be made of a concrete mixture instead. Also, the crown should be constructed with an overhang of a couple of inches all around to direct the water away from the base of the chimney and down and off the roof. If your chimney was constructed poorly or if it has cracks or pits, we’ll advise that we reconstruct or repair the problem so your leaks disappear.
If the crown isn’t the problem, the chimney cap might be. The chimney cap is an optional piece, not a permanent part of the chimney. It serves the purpose of keeping rain out of the chimney, as well as critters and debris. It is designed to have a solid, sloped top and mesh, metal sides so that rain slides off of it to the chimney crown and then off the roof to the rain gutters. If this piece is rusted or ripped, precipitation might be getting into your chimney instead.
Another problem on the exterior of your roof might be the flashing. The spot where the chimney meets the roof is a vulnerable spot because it’s hard to seal tightly. This problem has been solved by covering that junction with sheets of metal layered in a way to move the water down and off the roof; this metal is called the flashing. Because this is composed of thin sheets of metal, it can get torn or ripped or loosened from the roof.
If you notice leaks around your chimney or fireplace, it’s time to call Alpine Chimney Sweeps. Whether it’s your flashing, your chimney cap, your chimney crown, or any of the other areas that might be leaking on your chimney, we’ll know the right technique to take care of the problem.