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Is There Water in My Chimney?

water damage chimneyIf wallpaper near your chimney is damaged or you’ve noticed rust on your fireplace’s glass doors, you may be wondering if there is water in your chimney. The answer is yes, likely so. These are two of several ways chimney moisture damage becomes evident. Unfortunately, signs of water in a chimney are rarely immediate. Moisture problems often create extensive damage before being detected.

Chimneys are built to prevent moisture from getting in because bricks are porous, yet water still intrudes into chimney systems for a variety of reasons. Below, learn more signs water is in your chimney and the most common causes of chimney leaks.

Signs of a Watery Chimney

It’s good to keep a watchful eye on your chimney and areas surrounding it because chimneys are highly vulnerable to moisture damage. The sooner you identify a lea, the less expensive chimney repairs will be. Any of the following circumstances could be proof that there is water in your chimney:

  • White stains on the exterior chimney stack
  • A dripping sound coming from your chimney
  • Deteriorating mortar
  • Masonry is breaking off and falling around or inside of the chimney
  • Dank or musty odors coming from the chimney, particularly after it has rained
  • Condensation or water inside the firebox
  • Water stains, leaks, or moisture on ceiling or walls near your chimney
  • Wood adjacent to the chimney is rotting
  • Cracks in bricks or other masonry materials

Common Causes of Chimney Moisture

There are many potential causes of destructive chimney leaks. The chimney crown at the top of the chimney may be cracked and deteriorating. The mortar may need to be replaced. The following are two more of the most common reasons chimneys leak:


The metal chimney flashing is supposed to form a waterproof seal between the chimney and the roof. Flashing is very difficult to install correctly, however. Tar is sometimes used, which is considered one of the least successful approaches to form a seal. The flashing is often made of aluminum, which tends to rust quickly, though tar is even less durable. Leakage that occurs as a result of the flashing typically causes roof damage.

Chimney Cap

Chimney capIf there is no chimney cap on your chimney, rain and snow fall directly into your fireplace. Even if you have a chimney cap, it could be damaged, whether by exposure to the elements or a determined animal trying to get to the warmth inside the flue. When a chimney cap is the reason for a leak, metal components become rusted. Also, the flu could become damaged because of the toxic mix of water and creosote.

How to Protect Your Chimney

Schedule an annual chimney inspection with the trained, certified experts at Chimney Saver Solutions, to help prevent extensive damage to your chimney. During an inspection, our professionals can spot signs of moisture damage in early stages. The most trusted chimney service company in the Richmond area is Chimney Saver Solutions.

Call 804-440-5000 today about water in your chimney, chimney repairs, chimney cleaning, and all other chimney service needs.

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