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Why is my fireplace leaking and what can I do about it?

Common reasons that your fireplace may be leaking

Everyone loves huddling around the fire on warm winter nights. It’s a symbol of the togetherness of the American family. However, rarely, do we think of the fireplace for what it is – a hole in the top of our home that lets the smoke out. While it may be there to let the smoke out, it can also let things in – such as water. A chimney can cause leaking problems due to several factors. Are you experiencing a leaking chimney? Read below for details about why this may be happening and what you can do to fix the problem!


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As was stated in the introduction, the chimney is just a large hole in the top of your home that allows smoke from the chimney to billow out the top. That being said, the most common cause of leaking from the chimney is, you guessed it, rain! Chimneys without a cap or with a faulty cap are susceptible to flood problems in downpours. This is a fixable problem. First, close the flue during a rainstorm. Second, buy a chimney cap to keep water out.


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Over time, the materials that were used to construct your chimney may wear down, especially in older homes constructed of brick and mortar. The freeze/thaw cycle can cause damage that ranges depending on the exposure to the elements. Cracks in mortar and bricks should be repaired by a professional masonry company.


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Another problem that may be causing leaking is condensation. Unfortunately, some homes with older construction may not be equipped to handle the temperature changes that are caused when a fireplace is in use. Compounding the problem is the lack of a proper chimney liner. This can cause condensation to build up on the outside of the chimney which can then drip down into the walls of the home, causing mold, water damage, and more.

Faulty Flashing

Another problem could be faulty chimney flashing. The flashing protects the gaps in the roof where the chimney pokes through, protecting it from rain, snow, and more. When this piece fails, it can cause water to drop down inside of the home, potentially causing thousands of dollars in eventual repairs.

No Chimney Leak

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Did you ever think that it may not be a chimney leak? If you’ve tried everything and nothing works, you may not be looking at a problem with your chimney. Unfortunately, to solve this problem, you’ll have to consult a chimney professional to ensure it isn’t a problem with your chimney, and you’ll have to call someone else to inspect and find the problem if this is the case.

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