We Fix Leaky Chimneys | Chimney Repairs For Loose Mortar, Cracked Crowns, and Chimney Flashing
Fix Leaky Chimneys
While a well-built chimney may seem to be an impervious structure, much of the stack is exposed to the elements of Mother Nature. This makes it susceptible to several common chimney problems, including a leaky chimney. In fact, water is its number one enemy. A water leak without chimney repair will cause extensive internal and external damage, ultimately leading to a structural failure.
The Certified Chimney Professionals at Bethesda Chimney are among the most skilled masons in the industry. Our crews fix leaky chimneys with the highest quality repairs and craftsmanship for residential, commercial, and government buildings throughout Montgomery County, MD, Northern, VA, and Washington, DC. We provide additional layers of protection with our custom chimney caps.
Bricks Absorbing Water
Bricks appear hard and solid, so why are they absorbing water? When bricks are fired in the kiln, they have a hard outer shell that provides a natural water-resistant surface. However, the constant battle with heavy rain, hail, ice, heat, and an aging structure softens its outer surface, allowing the porous clay and silica to absorb water. When bricks absorb moisture, they become gritty like sand and they start to chip, flake, and crumble or spall. When it rains, water leaks through these cracks and gaps. The water damage spreads to other brick blocks, further damaging the interior masonry, flue liner, and other components. In addition, when bricks absorb moisture, there is a good chance there is some loose mortar too.
Mortar is a porous bonding material that holds the bricks in place. Just like water damages bricks, it also causes the mortar to decay. Gaps in the mortar joints are evidence of missing mortar. When the mortar decays and slowly disappears, entire blocks of bricks can become loose and fall off the stack. These gaping holes provide additional pathways for water to leak inside the chimney. Missing bricks could also become a safety hazard or even result in a fallen chimney.
Cracked Chimney Crown
When your chimney cap is damaged or missing, the crown becomes more vulnerable to damage from heavy rain, snow accumulation, ice, and hail that can cause surface cracks. Even hairline cracks are sufficient to allow water to leak into the chimney between the interior wall and flue pipe. Unfortunately, it often goes unnoticed until a chimney inspection reveals it, or another chimney problem develops like a musty odor, loose mortar, or spalling bricks.
The sheet metal installed where the chimney meets the roofline is called the flashing. Its purpose is to prevent precipitation from leaking between the gaps. Age, weather, and improper installation can cause the flashing to warp, corrode, or even fail. Since signs of chimney flashing leaks include water stains on the ceiling and walls around the fireplace or heating stove, it is often mistaken for a roof leak. In many instances, a Certified Chimney Professional® can fix the leaks using a specialized sealant.
No Chimney Cap
When we inspect and repair leaky chimneys, we have noticed that many homes in Bethesda, Kensington, and the District of Columbia have no chimney cap. A chimney cap is a vital component because it is the first line of defense for preventing water leaks. In addition, without a chimney cap, rain and snow will drip down the flue, weakening the interior masonry, flue liner, and firebox. Since a chimney cap is so essential, Bethesda Chimney takes great pride in fabricating custom, hip and ridge chimney caps. Our chimney caps feature an 8-inch drip edge, providing more than twice the coverage of a standard cap. It protects the sides of the chimney and the entire surface of the crown. Plus, it will also significantly enhance your chimney’s appearance and the aesthetic appeal of your home.
How to Fix Your Leaky Chimney
Bethesda Chimney’s certified chimney professionals are highly skilled masons that provide outstanding quality that is second to none. We fix leaky chimneys for residential, commercial, and government buildings in Tysons, VA, District of Columbia, Silver Spring, MD, Springfield, VA, Arlington, VA, Gaithersburg, MD, and nearby towns in Montgomery County, MD, Washington DC, and Northern VA. Call 301-969-4444 or 703-935-4444 to schedule a chimney leak inspection today!