Ways to Prevent Chimney Leaks
With a little preventive and annual maintenance, you can help prevent your chimney from leaking.
- Maintain your chimney crown or your chase cover
All masonry chimneys should have a concrete crown at the top of the chimney. If you have a metal chimney, this part is made of metal and is called a chase cover. This crown should have a downward slope that directs water away from the flue to run off the edge of the crown. This overhanging drip edge helps direct water away from the chimney and prevent erosion of your mortar joints and brick. This is a very part of your chimney to maintain as once the crown fails, water will begin to penetrate and damage your chimney. The overhang on your crown should be at least two inches. This should be inspected annually.
- Purchase a good chimney cap
Chimney caps, or rain covers, are a very important part of your chimney, and probably the least expensive. Chimneys have flues at the top that can collect rainwater and direct it into the interior of the chimney. If there is no cap, there is nothing to protect the flue. Chimney caps come in a range of sizes, so you need to have one installed that fits properly over your flue. They also keep little critters and birds out of your chimney and function as spark arrestors.
- Watertight flashing
Flashing prevents rainwater or melting snow from running down your chimney and into your home. This is the metal seal between the roofing material and the chimney. It is the expansion joint that allows the roof and chimney to expand and contract separately. Flashing needs to be properly installed and in good condition.
- Mortar joints
Missing or cracked mortar joints are an entry point for water. Proper joints are shaped to direct water way from the joint. These joints can deteriorate from exposure to weather and become absorbent. This will allow moisture to wick into your chimney every time it rains. Repairing mortar joints is called tuckpointing.
- Waterproof your chimney
Waterproofing needs to be done by an experienced chimney professional. As we have noted, as the masonry products on your chimney deteriorate, they become like a sponge. This moisture can wick to the interior side of your chimney. The correct product needs to be 100% vapor-permeable so your chimney can still breathe. While the waterproofing agent prevents water from entering from the outside, water that has penetrated the chimney is still allowed to escape.
Call Lakeview today at 218-525-5146 to have your chimney inspected by one of our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps.