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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Waynesville, NC
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    9

    Default Leak around chimney

    There is water coming in around my chimney. I've had a contractor out here and he tried using tar the first time, which didn't work. The 2nd time out, he replaced flashing and shingles all the way around the chimney and out several feet. He also used caulking. The roof is only about 10-11 years old. The leak is worse than ever! The contractor just came out and said it is not leaking from the top. He mentioned trying something else and then said he might even have to build a new chimney! I thought brick lasted much longer than this. My house was built in 1955 and is brick. If the brick in the chimney are deteriorating, does that mean the ones on the whole house are? I am quite concerned about this. Can anyone help me with some answers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    call a good reputable mason and get his advice. a mason is an expert in brick work, chimneys, stucco, etc. very few contractors are experts in this field, many know the basics but not the finer points.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    It may be time to consult the Yellow Pages under "Chimney Builders & Repair" & get another contractor out there; unfortunately, a chimney leak can be caused by any one of a score of failed spots & even the smallest hairline crack can be anywhere in the pointing (mortared joints), the flashing, counter-flashing, the crown, etc., so leaks can be quite difficult to find & repair.

    Consult the thread below to get more background on how chimneys, when working properly, keep out rainwater & the various chimney leaks & their repair---make sure you click onto ALL the threads at the various sites, including the You-Tube videos that explain how different parts of a masonry chimney function & can leak, even though the problem is not immediately apparent to the naked eye----the repair person has to get up nose-to nose with the chimney & use a garden hose to spray water on different parts of the exterior parts of the chimney, while a helper is on the inside in the attic yelling out when water starts coming thru the specific spot where the roof deck meets the masonry chimney.

    For example, the masonry chimney, being made of stone & anchored to the foundation of the building is almost unmoveable, but the roof deck, being subjected to heat & cold WILL CONTRACT & EXPAND FRACTIONS OF AN INCH up & down in relation to the brick chimney---that's why COUNTER-FLASHING is installed around the lower skirt of the chimney---to maintain a water-tight seal from the rain, even if the roof deck moves slightly up & down from the masonry mass.



    https://advice.thisoldhouse.com/show...-still-leaking
    Last edited by dodsworth; 12-23-2013 at 02:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    'Contractor'… sounds almost like 'handyman.' This guy doesn't sound like a competent and experienced roofer. More like a jack of all trades attacking it by trial and error. If his first repair involved covering the problem in tar that is a sign he doesn't know what he is doing.

    You need to get a roofer who knows his stuff to go up there and check out the flashing and shingles around the chimney. If he says that looks fine, you have a chimney issue and he should refer you to a mason. But what I suspect will happen is the next guy that goes up there will tell you it's going to cost you more money to undue the contractor's 'repairs' so that the real problem can be fixed.

    A competent roofer make ask you for somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 dollars depending on what needs to be done, but he shouldn't have to keep coming back again.
    Last edited by eman; 12-23-2013 at 07:05 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    6,762

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    I too recommend calling an experienced roofer, to look at and improve the chimney area.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,791

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    I once had a house built about the same time as yours and it had the same problem. It turned out to be hairline cracks in the mortared joints. I fixed it by painting the chimney. A couple coats of paint sealed the cracks. I'm not recommending that, but at the time, I was in the Navy and didn't have the money to do anything else and it worked at least for the four years I owned the house.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    central pa
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    I am a chimney contractor and I have to say most roofers either don't know or don't bother to properly flash chimneys. but it also may not be the flashing like keith said lots of times water can be getting into the structure through cracks in the mortar. it can also actually come from condensation from the inside of the chimney to. or in from the top or many other things you need to get a chimney professional out to inspect it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    I too have a chimney leak that defies fixing. My fireplace is on an angle into the room. It leaks at the high point of the chimney and runs down the whole length of the angle. I have had the whole roof and flashing replaced, the ceiling repaired. And it actually leaked worse; I actually had water on the hearth but the inside of the chimney is dry; it seems to be coming in down the wall. The roofer came back out and ripped out the roofing he had just done, installed more flashing and installed drip edges across the top of the angle to prevent water from collecting at the high flat point at the back of the chimney. He also said he would inspect the metal flashing at the bottom of the chimney for holes. I respackled and primed, had a rainstorm last night and found I could push the drywall in again around the chimney. Don't know what to do at this point except rip more of the ceiling out to find where it's leaking in. (This part of the attic/roof is not available to the inside.) The house was built in 1998, the outside of the chimney is sided. Thanks for any HELP.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    Quote Originally Posted by constgirl View Post
    I too have a chimney leak that defies fixing. My fireplace is on an angle into the room. It leaks at the high point of the chimney and runs down the whole length of the angle. I have had the whole roof and flashing replaced, the ceiling repaired. And it actually leaked worse; I actually had water on the hearth but the inside of the chimney is dry; it seems to be coming in down the wall. The roofer came back out and ripped out the roofing he had just done, installed more flashing and installed drip edges across the top of the angle to prevent water from collecting at the high flat point at the back of the chimney. He also said he would inspect the metal flashing at the bottom of the chimney for holes. I respackled and primed, had a rainstorm last night and found I could push the drywall in again around the chimney. Don't know what to do at this point except rip more of the ceiling out to find where it's leaking in. (This part of the attic/roof is not available to the inside.) The house was built in 1998, the outside of the chimney is sided. Thanks for any HELP.
    There are a lot of roofers on here who could figure out what's going on, but they won't have much of anything useful to contribute without photos of the area. It could very well be that the flashing system your roofer has designed to route water around and away from the chimney has some sort of deficiency that isn't letting it serve its intended purpose.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    central pa
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Leak around chimney

    ok to start with are you talking about a chimney of a chase? do you have a frame structure with siding on it? if so that is not a chimney and to fix the leak there you will need to remove allot of the siding from the chase also. most of the time there was very little flashing done under the siding and if your roofer didn't pull the siding which most don't that is probably your problem.

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