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2 Sources Of Chimney Leaks And How To Fix Them

Chimneys are often battered by severe weather more than other parts of the roofline because they project above the surface. The main problem most homeowners face when it comes to their chimney is water and snow infiltration, which can lead to the premature deterioration of the brick and surrounding roof shingles.

Waterproofing your chimney during warmer weather can help prevent water infiltration problems during the rainy season or winter thaw. Here is a look at several causes of a leaking chimney and how to fix them.

Cracks in the chimney crown

A chimney crown, which is the cement cover above your chimney, prevents rain, snow and other debris from falling straight into your home. Unfortunately, this concrete slab can sometimes develop tiny cracks that allow water to infiltrate your home.

The main cause of cracking in the masonry is the constant freezing and thaw during winter that can damage the crown and allow water to seep into the chimney structure. To fix this problem, call in a roofing contractor to apply caulk designed to repair masonry. This will prevent the damage from deteriorating, which would eventually force you to relay the masonry.

Leaks around loose flashing

The area where the chimney structure comes through the roof is especially vulnerable to water seepage, which is why flashing is used to seal the gaps between the roof and the brick structure. To create a watertight seal, roofers often install sections of L-shaped aluminum or galvanized steel flashing, which are woven into the shingles and then secured to the sides of the chimney. A second layer of flashing is then inserted in the brick and motor joints around the chimney and then folded down to cover the top of the initial flashing.

Even with properly overlapped flashing material, there can sometimes be a small gap around the chimney that can cause a roof leak. To prevent such an issue, have your roofer to reinforce any loose flashing, especially at the corners. Any gaps around the flashing can then be sealed with a high-quality urethane caulk, making the connection watertight.

Alternatively, ask your roofer to replace the aluminum flashing with copper replacements that can be soldered at the corners to keep water out. Thought a bit costly, copper flashing can help eliminate leaks that occur after caulk around aluminum flashing works itself loose over time.

Chimney leaks can be a frustrating problem that can inconvenience you and damage your property and roof. The above solutions should help you keep this problem at bay so you can have more peace of mind.

Talk to a company like Ziparo Brothers Construction for more help.