Leaky Chimneys Dampen the Health of Your Masonry – Literally!

Ever notice how water doesn’t just bead up and roll off of your masonry? That’s because bricks are really absorbent. Rather than force water away from your chimney, they soak it all in like a sponge.

As you can imagine, this isn’t good for the structural integrity of your chimney system, and once leaks and water damage become visible, you’re really in trouble.

Before Leaky Chimney and Flashing Repair which is coming apart where chimney meets roof

Before Leaky Chimney and Flashing Repair

After leaky chimney repair all new flashing

After Leaky Chimney and Flashing Repair

What kinds of problems can water cause with your chimney system and the areas surrounding it?

Water damage comes in many forms, but here are some of the more common types when it comes to chimney leaks:

  • Crumbling or missing brickwork
  • Missing mortar joints
  • Rusted metal components (chimney caps, chase covers, flashing, etc.)
  • Rotted woodwork surrounding the chimney and fireplace
  • Stains on the walls and ceilings near the chimney
  • Deterioration in your central heating system
  • Clogs & buildup in your flue
  • Rust on glass doors, dampers & accessories
  • Stains on your masonry
  • A tilted, settled, or collapsed chimney
  • Damage to your flue liner

Now, these are the things that we, as sweeps, tend to focus on, but there are countless other ways water could be affecting your home. And once water and moisture start breaking things down, they just keep on going until either 1) there’s nothing left to destroy or 2) a professional is hired to put a stop to it.

If you suspect a chimney leak, The Chimney Guys are the team to call. Our CSIA-certified sweeps are equipped to repair chimney leaks all throughout Charlottesville and the areas surrounding, and we’d love the opportunity to discuss preventive maintenance with you, too. After all, why invest in repairs if the problems will be back around again by the following year?

So, how do we fix leaky chimneys?

Chimney Cap/Custom Cap Installation

Chimney caps cover the flue opening and are a must when it comes to preventing damage. The thing is, though, that they have to be installed correctly and appropriately sized in order for them to do any good. If they aren’t, then water is sure to find its way into your chimney.

Chimney caps actually serve multiple functions on preventing leaks. They’re affordable, and they offer priceless protection to your chimney – which is always a perk. Invest in a good one now, so you don’t have to shell out hundreds (or potentially thousands) for repairs, relining work, and/or restorations down the line.

Chimney Crowns

Chimney crowns offer your chimney protection, too. But instead of covering the flue like a chimney cap, they cover the rest of the chimney top opening. Crowns are built of tough concrete and shaped in a way that encourages water to run off and away from the chimney.

But when crowns aren’t built properly or maintained, they can wear down and develop cracks and leaks over time. When this happens, water makes its way further down into the chimney system.

The best way to prevent this is to invest in chimney waterproofing for your crown, and to have needed repairs made ASAP. Here at The Chimney Guys, we use CrownTite to seal minor cracks and provide a waterproof barrier that protects the crown against future water damage.

Chase Cover Installation

Do you have a prefabricated fireplace? Then it’s your chase cover you’ll need help with. Chase covers are similar to chimney crowns. Both cover the entirety of the chimney opening, with the exception of the flue. The only difference is that chase covers are for prefab systems, so they’re made of metal, rather than masonry.

When installed correctly and in good condition, chase covers prevent water from entering the chimney. But when installed incorrectly or when rusted and worn, they can fail to do the job.

Chimney Waterproofing

Earlier, we talked about water soaking right into your brickwork. Well, waterproofing is what ensures that doesn’t happen! After the job is done, water will simply pool on your masonry’s surface (just like in your tub or sink) rather than being absorbed into it.

Waterproofing plays a big role in keeping your chimney strong, sturdy, and long-lasting. The service provides years of protection, won’t affect the aesthetics of your chimney at all, and is a lot cheaper than the reconstruction work you’ll need to invest in if you skip it.

Already Have a Water-Damaged Chimney?

If your chimney’s showing signs of water damage or you suspect you have a leak, give The Chimney Guys a call ASAP. Water and moisture break things down a lot quicker than you’d think, so there isn’t time to waste. Deterioration and decay that’s already present will only continue breaking down if no one steps in to put an end to it.

So reach out today to get the repairs and preventive care started. You can reach us at 434-481-3796 or reach out to us here on our website – we’re ready to help!


If you think large or small masonry repairs are looming in your near future, don’t be worried. Call on our repair and installations pros to take care of your masonry needs.