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Is Your Chimney Leaking? Here’s How You Can Tell

One of the most common chimney problems, water leaks can lead to extensive damage to your home, especially if the leaks are neglected. Not only do water leaks causehouse in rain problems to the masonry chimney structure itself, but you may also encounter issues with rusted metal components and rotted wooden parts of your house because of these leaks. For over 25 years, Atlas Chimney has specialized in taking care of the leaky chimneys of the Austin area, and you can trust our experienced team of qualified chimney professionals to properly fix the leaks and repair any damage caused by the leaks. Our chimney technicians have been trained and certified by the leader of our industry, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and we are proud to provide the highest quality of professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to the area. To help you prevent experiencing extensive water leak damage to your chimney and your home, we would like to tell you how to tell your chimney is leaking as well as what you can expect from our professional chimney services.

How can I tell that my chimney is leaking?

You may think that a water leak in your chimney would be obvious, but the signs of a chimney leak can be more subtle than standing water on the floor of your firebox. If you notice stains on the ceiling and walls of the room where your fireplace is located, there is a very good chance that you have a leaky chimney. You may also notice wallpaper peeling away from and/or paint cracking off of the walls near your fireplace. Rusted metal components, such as the fireplace damper, and musty odors coming from the fireplace opening are other signs that your chimney has a water leak. On the exterior of your chimney, damaged bricks and mortar joints can alert you to a chimney leak issue, according to the CSIA.

Why is my chimney leaking?

As we mentioned above, Atlas Chimney has been taking care of leaky chimneys for over 25 years, and this means we have a lot of experience in finding the sources of chimney leaks. This experience allows us to be able to stop water leaks quickly and make the proper repairs. One of the most common reasons why a chimney leaks is damaged masonry. When the bricks and mortar joints of your chimney are cracked, crumbled, broken, loose, or missing, water from rain and melted ice and snow can easily enter into the chimney through the gaps and holes left behind by the damaged masonry. Unfortunately, this type of masonry damage can deteriorate quickly, especially during the winter, if it is left unrepaired. Another cause of chimney leaks has to do with the top of your chimney not being as protected as it should be by a chimney cap and a chimney crown. If your chimney is uncapped, or if your chimney cap is old and damaged, your chimney is at a much higher risk for water leaks. Your chimney should also have a chimney crown at its top, and when the crown is cracked and damaged, water can leak into the chimney. You could also have a problem with a leaky chimney if your flashing system has been damaged.

How can Atlas Chimney help me with my leaky chimney?

When our CSIA-certified chimney professionals arrive to your home, we will begin by inspecting your chimney to find the source of the leak. Once we have made the diagnosis, we will explain the problem to you and provide you with a fair and honest written estimate of the repairs that are necessary to stop the leak. If there is any masonry damage, you can depend on us to remove the damaged bricks and mortar joints and replace them with durable masonry materials. After we have fixed the leak and its damage, we can help you prevent more chimney leaks from occurring. Atlas Chimney is proud to provide the Austin area with the best chimney leak preventive services available, which include chimney cap sales and installation, chimney crown construction and repairs, flashing construction and repairs, and waterproofing. As we mentioned earlier, masonry deterioration can be accelerated during the winter, and the best defense against this type of chimney damage is to have your chimney professionally waterproofed. We only use waterproofing agents that are specifically made for chimneys so that your chimney can be protected from water leaks for at least a decade. Although the waterproofing treatment will form an invisible barrier against water penetration, the formulas that we use are 100 percent vapor permeable so that gases can escape without causing further masonry damage. We strongly recommend that you have your chimney professionally waterproofed to prolong the life of your masonry chimney.

If you suspect that your chimney is leaking, contact us today at Atlas Chimney to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney water leak services. You can count on our CSIA-certified chimney professionals to take care of your leaky chimney. We are here for any of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

The Importance of a Chimney Crown

Your masonry chimney needs to have several important components in place to function properly. For example, the chimney crown keeps water out of your chimney. To do this job properly, it is crucial that the crown is in good condition. The crown is located at the top of the chimney. Therefore, it is difficult to properly check for damages such as cracks or chips. Fortunately, Atlas Chimney ensures your chimney crown effectively protects your home from water leak damage. For over 25 years, we have provided superior quality professional chimney services including crown repair and construction. We would like to tell you more about the importance of a chimney crown.

How often do I need to have a chimney crown inspection?

Industry experts recommend annual chimney crown inspections to ensure proper health and functionality. During our annual chimney inspections, we always take a look at the crown. We will spot any damage or poor construction that could lead to more problems with water leaks and animal invasions. If we do find any damage, we will provide you with photographs and a written estimate of the necessary repairs.

What does Atlas Chimney look for when inspecting a chimney crown?

Atlas Chimney deeply examines the chimney crown to ensure proper construction and catch damage unseen to the naked, untrained eye. One of the most common problems we have found over the years has to do with the mortar used to make the crown. Inferior mortar mixes can be the reason for chimney crown damage, but you can trust us to only use the best mortar mix, Portland cement, which is recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) for its durability. We also look for other crown construction guidelines from the CSIA, such as the proper slope and overhang. Without the right slope angle, water from rain and melted ice and snow can pool on top of the crown. Your crown also needs the right amount of overhang to keep water from falling directly upon the chimney flashing and possibly leak into the flue. Before constructing your crown, our CSIA-certified professionals take precise measurements of your chimney to ensure it will prevent leaks.

Because of the spalling damage that often occurs during the winter, Atlas Chimney recommends having your chimney crown inspected in the spring. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your annual professional chimney sweeping and inspection services from our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps.

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