Trust Us for Leaky Chimney Repairs
In Your San Antonio Home
Sure, leaky chimneys are a big inconvenience, inviting water, foul odors, and unsightly stains and decay to your home, but they’re actually a lot more than that too. If ignored, a chimney leak can cause significant damage throughout your chimney and home, making your system unsafe for use and inviting some serious threats in the process.
If you live in or near San Antonio, don’t hesitate to call in our experts if you’re experiencing chimney leaks. We can address them, then introduce preventive measures to minimize the risk of experiencing them later on down the line too.
Need other chimney repair services? We also offer masonry repairs, chimney relining, firebox repairs, and more. Give us a call today.
How Does Water Damage Chimneys?
Water is actually one of your chimney’s biggest foes, and there are a long list of ways leaks and excess moisture can cause damage to it and any surrounding housing materials.
Water can rust your chimney cap and chase cover.
Water can rust and corrode your chimney flashing.
Water can trigger deterioration throughout your masonry.
Water can damage your chimney damper.
Water can rot woodwork throughout your home that’s near your chimney.
Water can stain the walls and ceiling near your chimney.
Water can pool in your firebox and cause damage.
Water can invite clogs to form in your flue or chimney.
Water can cause your chimney to eventually settle, tilt, or collapse.
Water can trigger all kinds of foul odors to form and enter your home.
Water can stain your chimney’s exterior.
One thing is clear – considering how damaging water can be to your chimney, investing in regular maintenance and preventive measures from a pro is imperative. Ask our team to look your system over to see where any problems might lie, then suggest appropriate preventive measures for avoiding issues down the line.
How Can I Prevent Chimney Leaks?
So, what can our clients do to ensure their homes in Kyle, Austin, Schertz, Spring Branch, Helotes, and more can avoid chimney leaks, even on the rainiest of days?
Ensure your chimney crown is properly built and well-maintained.
If you have a chase cover, trust a professional to install it.
Invest in a quality chimney cap and have it professionally installed.
Invest in quality flashing installation services.
Stay tuned to signs of chimney leaks (rust, staining, etc.).
Have a cricket installed behind your chimney.
Invest in professional waterproofing services.
If your bricks are deteriorating, invest in replacement services.
Invest in professional tuckpointing services.
Book annual chimney inspections.
If you check all – or even most – of these off the list, chimney leaks shouldn’t be something you’ll have to stress about.
Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Chimney Leaks?
Wondering if your homeowner’s insurance will cover your chimney leak-related damages? The hard truth to this question is – probably not. While your insurance is likely to cover damage due to severe weather events (like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc.) or even chimney fires, basic wear and tear (like a damaged cap or broken down masonry) won’t fall under this category.
Why not? Because, for the most part, chimney leaks are preventable. If you keep up with routine inspections and invest in all necessary preventive measures, like waterproofing, cap installation, proper crown construction, and more, you shouldn’t have issues. Failing to take proper care of your system falls in the category of neglect – and your insurance won’t help you out with that.
But, what if damage did occur to some natural event? How can you prove it? Well, that’s easy – as long as you’ve been getting those inspections done annually, proving your system was in good shape before the event occurred shouldn’t be a problem. If you need to get yours booked, don’t wait to reach out – we’ve got you covered.
Why Do I Need a Chase Cover?
Chase covers essentially act as the crown for prefabricated systems. The two big purposes they serve are:
1. They direct water away from the sides of the chimney chase, so that it doesn’t wear down, decay, and leave your flue vulnerable.
2. They assist the chimney cap in keeping water, animals, and debris from entering the flue opening, keeping it in good shape and free of clogs.
Now, typically prefabricated units come with a chase cover. Most of these will provide some decent temporary protection, but they shouldn’t be relied on for the long haul. They aren’t made from durable or long-lasting metals, and they’ll start to break down and rust much sooner than one that’s built from something tougher.
Any home or business with a prefab unit should invest in a custom-fitted, quality-built chase cover before this stock model begins to corrode and trigger further damage throughout the system.
Why Is Chimney Waterproofing Important?
Chimney waterproofing is an often overlooked – yet highly essential – part of maintaining a healthy and long-standing chimney system. Brickwork is a lot more absorbent than many realize, and water can easily seep into it. Once this occurs, the excess moisture will start breaking things down, causing brickwork to fall out and deteriorate and mortar joints to crumble.
Chimney waterproofing stops deterioration from the get-to by creating a vapor-permeable barrier that water cannot get through. This means that any pre-absorbed moisture will be able to eventually vent out, but any outside moisture will simply bead up and roll off.
Can I DIY my chimney waterproofing?
Stores and various websites sell waterproofing products, which leads many homeowners to wonder… can’t I just complete chimney waterproofing myself?
We’ll always say no. First of all, there’s always the chance that important areas will get missed or that your chimney won’t get the coverage it actually needs. A professional knows how to do the job right to ensure nothing is overlooked.
Second of all, it is very important that waterproofing products are vapor-permeable, otherwise any moisture inside of it will remain trapped inside and continue to break things down – and many store-bought products won’t have this quality. As professional sweeps, we only use industry-trusted brands to ensure this is never an issue.
All in all, missed areas and low-quality products will result in a chimney that’s not actually protected. This means you’ll still experience damage and any work you put into the waterproofing process will be null and void – and expensive repairs will likely be required shortly down the line.
Our best advice is to trust an expert from the start and save yourself wasted time, extra stress, and potential future expenses.
What Is a Chimney Cricket?
A chimney cricket, or roof cricket, is a triangle-shaped system built to help direct water away from the vulnerable areas of your chimney or roof. It’s built where the roof slants upwards behind the chimney, so water can’t build up, pool, and break your chimney or roofing materials down.
Ensuring these are constructed appropriately and follow all necessary building codes is a must, which is why trusting a professional for the job is important. If everything isn’t done correctly, you’ll still experience leaks and water damage.
How Does Flashing Protect a Chimney?
The area where your roof meets up with your chimney is especially prone to take in water. Why? Because your chimney and roof are made from different materials, meaning that they won’t always be expanding and contracting at the same rate. Along with this, the seal where they connect isn’t always reliable.
It’s a lack of protection in this area that tends to lead to damage in your home near the fireplace – like staining on your walls, rotted woodwork, and more.
Fortunately, we can install a protective barrier – chimney flashing – to ensure water is blocked from entering. Flashing consists of pieces of metal that are assembled together to block this area and guide water away.
Chimney flashing is made up of two layers: step flashing and counter flashing. Step flashing goes up on the deck of the system, sitting underneath the shingles, and it prevents water from entering into your attic or upper levels of your home. Counter flashing keeps water from accessing the step flashing and is installed into the mortar joints of your masonry structure.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Leaking Chimney?
Like with most chimney repair services, the cost of your leaky chimney repairs will vary based on the extent of the damage and what replacement parts are needed. You might just need a new chimney cap installed, which typically costs a few hundred dollars, or extensive masonry repairs or rebuilds, which can get into the thousands.
What remains true for any repair, though, is that the longer you let it go without professional attention, the more expensive it will get to eventually address. We suggest booking an inspection with one of our certified techs. We can get a full assessment of the entire chimney, then start tackling any issues that are present.
At Wolfman, we always do our best to work with our clients’ specific needs and budgets.
Can a Leaking Chimney Lead to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that all fireplace owners should be wary of. It’s extremely hard to detect and very poisonous, leading to serious illness and sometimes fatalities. Common symptoms are headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and loss of consciousness. And if your chimney isn’t in good shape – i.e. if it’s leaking and showing signs of water damage – your risk of carbon monoxide exposure will increase.
As masonry breaks down, holes and cracks will form through which dangerous fumes can enter your home. Water-related issues can also trigger clogs, which will also encourage hazardous gases produced from your fires to backtrack into your home.
If you have damage, don’t delay. We also urge homeowners to invest in carbon monoxide detectors to install throughout their house – put them outside bedrooms and on each level of the home, and sync them up, so then if one goes off, it’ll cause the rest to go off too.
Can a Leaking Chimney Lead to Home & Chimney Fires?
Absolutely. The worse shape your chimney is in, the less efficiently it will function, and the more creosote will build up. Creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires, and the more of it that you have, the higher your risk will be of flames spreading throughout your system.
In addition to this, chimney leaks can cause your chimney liner to break down and decay, which makes your home vulnerable. Flames can easily spread through these vulnerable spots and reach adjacent woodwork.
Invest in regular inspections and maintenance and book any needed repairs swiftly to avoid threats of this nature and significantly reduce your risk of experiencing a fire.
How Often Should I Have My Chimney Inspected for Leaks?
No matter the type of system you own, what fuel you use, or how often you have fires going, your fireplace and chimney should be inspected once per year to ensure everything is functioning safely and efficiently.
During these inspections, your sweep can check for any signs of leaks or water-related damage, determine the source of issues, then suggest services to prevent these issues from recurring down the line. And delaying or neglecting inspections is bound to lead to more repairs and safety hazards later on down the line.
That said, if you suspect damage or see any obvious signs of leaks in between inspections, don’t hesitate to call in a professional as soon as possible. Long story short – be proactive! When it comes to your chimney, the sooner problems are attacked, the better.
Give Our Team of Professionals a Call
We’re here for you. Chimney leaks can invite a long list of headaches and hassles, but for homeowners in Boerne, New Braunfels, Seguin, Canyon Lake, San Marcos, and more, you can save yourself the stress of it all by simply giving us a call and letting us take it from there.
Call today to get on our schedule books. We’ll look your system over, find the source of leaks or any other issues, then get your system back where it needs to be, so you can rest easier and enjoy your fireplace to the fullest.
Get in touch by reaching out online or by calling us at 830-620-9130 now. We’ll be your trusted team for it all.