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Old 03-11-2011, 08:11 AM   #1
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Chimney or roof leaking?


I'm hoping for some help here regarding some recent leaking we've been having in our master bedroom, located on the top floor of our 130-yearold house. Last night we noticed some leaking coming from where the ceiling meets the chimney. Also there appears to be leaching coming out from the chimney bricks into the wall. We've lived here for 2 years and have had worse storms than the one last night which appeared to bring about this leaking. Does anyone know the possible source - i.e. the flashing, mortar, etc? It is a brick fireplace that is used to vent an oil furnace. It does not have a cap on it.

Chimney meeting the ceiling:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

Close-up:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

Leaching coming from chimney:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

Is this repair anything that I might be able to attempt or call in a professional? Is this roofing repair or chimney?

Appreciate any help. Thanks.

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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Chimney or roof leaking?


This leak is almost certainly coming through the chimney somewhere. If it was a roof leak you wouldn't get those type of stains. The water could be coming from the top of the chimney or anywhere through the masonary. An easy way that I used to seal the top of chimneys is to just mix up some morter and trowel it onto the top of the chimney. make sure you trowl the morter so that the water runs off the top.LOL. Use lots of weldbond and wet the surface before you start putting it on. After it hardens I always caulked around any pipes or tiles protruding from the top of the chimney. Another possibility could be water coming right through the masonary it's self. It could be that the bricks need to be pointed. I won't go into how to point but it's fairly easy but time consuming to do right. Don't get any morter on your shingles. It stains them like crazy. A last possibility is the water could be coming in on the outside of the chimney through the roof. I don't usually find those sooty stains when that's the case but it's possible.
Check the flashing very carefully. Pretend you are a detective and you are going to find the evidence of water penetration. Check the flashing to brick joint. This is a very common entry point and also a 2 minute fix. On the lower side of the chimney pull the nails and look under the metal. Is it wet under there? On the top side look for holes in the metal, sometimes rust holes develop. Check the shingles above the chimney. Sometimes a hole in a shingle can be the culprit and the water is running down under the shingles until it gets to a fixture. Don't go smearing roof cement around anywhere!!! It just makes a mess and sometimes creates leaks. You should be able to find the leak if you go about it with method and logic. Don't forget the water is not coming in lower than the leak stains. LOL.
Be careful up there and follow all safty rules. It's better to have a leak than a broken neck.


Last edited by lucknow; 03-11-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:56 AM   #3
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Chimney or roof leaking?


The first thing that I would address is the cap, or crown, but I use concrete, not mortar. The cap should slope from the flue to the outer edge, should be a minimum of 2" thick, and should overhang the chimney on all 4 sides by at least two inches. I typically wrpa a piece of sill seal (thin foam basically) around the chimney first, to allow the new concrete to shrink without cracking, then slice off the excess and caulk the joint at the cap and the flue.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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Chimney or roof leaking?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hforbes View Post
I'm hoping for some help here regarding some recent leaking we've been having in our master bedroom, located on the top floor of our 130-yearold house. Last night we noticed some leaking coming from where the ceiling meets the chimney. Also there appears to be leaching coming out from the chimney bricks into the wall. We've lived here for 2 years and have had worse storms than the one last night which appeared to bring about this leaking. Does anyone know the possible source - i.e. the flashing, mortar, etc? It is a brick fireplace that is used to vent an oil furnace. It does not have a cap on it.

Chimney meeting the ceiling:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

Close-up:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

Leaching coming from chimney:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

Is this repair anything that I might be able to attempt or call in a professional? Is this roofing repair or chimney?

Appreciate any help. Thanks.
Take some pics of the chimney/flashing/roof from the outside and post them here. All we can tell from the interior pics is the certainty that there is a leak.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:57 PM   #5
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Chimney or roof leaking?


HI there,

Thanks everyone for the great responses. I managed to get up on the roof and take some more pictures. I wasn't able to see anything wrong with the flashing. I'm wondering if I just need a cap and the torrential rain was just coming down too hard for the chimney to not absorb? Although I've read a cap can cause more leaking via condensation?

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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Chimney or roof leaking?


Well Sir, you are right; you have no cap, and, again, that is the first thing that I would address. It is very possible that the water is running into your bricks, and finding its' way though to the interior of your home. Unless you are someplace where it never gets below freezing, you are extremely lucky in one sense, as your bricks appear to be in very good shape, considering. Usually what happens is that the water freezes inside them, and pops the face off. The issue though, in my opinion, which often isn't worth a lot, is that you should have a flue that extends above your bricks, so that you can pour your cap or crown over the bricks, and against the flue. Someone more knowledgable will surely come along, but if not, I would contact my HVAC company, to see what the right fix for that is, and then get a cap in place.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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Chimney or roof leaking?


Thanks DexterII/everyone.

I most certainly live in a cold area, Ontario Canada, where we get at least several months of nonstop sub-zero temperatures and months with temperatures around 0C almost half the year. I've always wondered why a cap wasn't there in the first place - I figured because of the oil furnace venting.

I've called in a pro who is coming within the next few days. Hopefully he can also help diagnose and the solution is as simple as a cap!

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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Chimney or roof leaking?


Never mind this second thought.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:44 PM   #9
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Chimney or roof leaking?


Good! In the mean time, one more thing comes to mind. I am not an expert, but, again, that does not look right to me, and I would personally be concerned as to whether or not the furnace is venting properly. I strongly suggest that unless you have them already, you pick up a couple of CO monitors this evening, and do not go to bed until you have it in place.

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