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Why Would My Chimney Be Leaking?

Are you hearing drips or spotting a puddle in your fireplace? These are telltale signs of a leaky chimney, a surprisingly common problem in Tennessee Valley’s historic towns like New Market and Winchester. Older homes are especially vulnerable due to wear and tear, but leaks can happen in any chimney.

damaged chimney cap in Tullahoma TNWhile sometimes leaking is obvious, like water gushing down the flue during rain, other times there may be a hidden stream, slowly causing damage within the chimney system until a more extensive issue arises. Here, we’ll explore some of the most common why your chimney may be leaking.

Missing or Rusting Chimney Cap

Your chimney cap acts as the first line of defense against the elements. Think of it as your chimney’s umbrella. It keeps rain, snow, and debris out of the flue. A missing or damaged cap leaves your chimney susceptible to the elements. Rusted caps lose effectiveness, so replacement is necessary to keep water out.

Flashing Failure

Flashing is a thin sheet of metal that seals the joint between the chimney and the roof. Over time, flashing can deteriorate, crack, or become loose, allowing water to seep in behind the bricks.

The Chimney Crown is Cracking

The crown is the sloped concrete section at the top of the chimney. It directs water away from the sides of the chimney, and cracks in the crown invite water infiltration, which can damage the surrounding masonry.

Improper Flashing Installation

Even if the metal flashing material is in good condition, improper installation can leave gaps, allowing water to seep inside, where it can damage the interior walls and flue liner. Repairs can be challenging, so hiring a qualified chimney sweep or mason is essential.

Peeling Paint or Wallpaper (Sign of Condensation)

While not a direct leak, this can signal moisture problems within the chimney system. Condensation occurs when warm, moist air meets a cooler surface. In a properly functioning chimney, this moisture should vent out. However, leaks or improper ventilation can trap condensation, leading to peeling paint or wallpaper near the fireplace. It is also a warning sign that water could be leaking in hidden areas.

Spalling Bricks

Spalling refers to the crumbling or flaking of the chimney bricks. This can be due to age, moisture freeze-thaw cycles, or excessive heat. Spalled bricks not only look unsightly, but they also create gaps that allow water to enter the chimney structure. As the chimney structure weakens, it may lean to one side or even collapse. We recommend immediate repair to avoid a costlier partial or complete rebuild.

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Chimney Leak Repair – Huntsville, AL – Tennessee Valley

Don’t let a leaky chimney damper the enjoyment of your fireplace or stove! If you suspect your chimney may be leaking or if it has been more than a year since your last inspection, give A1 Chimney Specialists a call. Early detection and repair can save you from costly repairs. You can reach us at 931-967-3595 in TN and 256-285-4895 in AL. You can also click here to schedule an appointment online with a Certified Chimney Professional. We are here to help you with safe, reliable, and efficient service. We have provided quality chimney care to Southern Middle Tennessee and Tennessee Valley areas since 2000.