A little bit of water in or around your fireplace might seem innocuous enough. However, if you see signs that water is leaking in through your chimney, you have a serious problem! A leaky chimney can cause damage to your home that can turn into serious and expensive repairs if not addressed immediately.

How a Leaky Chimney Can Damage Your Home

Water intruding into your fireplace and chimney can cause plenty of damage to your hearth system on its own. For example, it causes your fireplace’s and chimney’s masonry components to crack, crumble and weaken while causing metal components like dampers, doors and grates to break down and rust. A leaky chimney also can damage your home in several ways, including:

Damaging Your Attic and Roof

A rooftop leak from your chimney can weaken your attic and roof. Water coming into contact with the wooden supports of your attic and rooftop can cause the wood to soften and rot. That water damage can spread rapidly and, if unchecked, threaten the security of your roof.

Weakening Your Home Structure

It’s not just your roof and attic that are in danger from a leaking chimney. As water seeps down through your home, or out of your chimney to the surrounding home supports, those supports will become water damaged and warp or rot. This threatens the portions of your home’s structure that are exposed to the leak.

Allowing Mold Growth

Anyone who has ever had a water leak in their home knows that water is quickly joined by another unwelcomed home guest: mold. Where there’s water, there is often mold growth, and that’s true for chimney leaks, too. Mold growing in your home can cause damage, be unsightly or even sicken your family.

Ruining Ceilings, Walls, Floors, and Home Décor

Depending on how water is entering your chimney, it can cause unsightly water damage to your home’s ceilings, walls, floor and décor. Water can also warp and discolor wallboard, cause ceilings to warp and cave, and warp floor or damage nearby décor or furniture.

Compromising the Chimney Structure

When it comes to water damage and your chimney, water damage begets more water damage. Water in chimney masonry weakens the masonry, causing it to crack or crumble. That cracked and crumbling masonry lets it even more water, causing even more damage. This can degrade the look of your chimney initially. Eventually, it can cause your chimney to lean dramatically or even collapse. Not only is this damaging and dangerous for the chimney, it also can put stress on your home’s structure and foundation that can damage your home, as well.

What to do About a Leaking Chimney

If you notice signs of a leaking chimney, don’t ignore them! Warning signs include but are not limited to discolorations, water in your firebox, and rust on fireplace doors or grate. A leaking chimney can cause serious damage to your home, so call Environmental Chimney Services to schedule a consultation! Our chimney experts can assess and repair your chimney leak, saving your home and your chimney from further damage.