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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve got a chimney leak. But this one isn’t an easy one. I’ve had four different masons and chimney repair folks plus a roofer and no one can figure it out. I’ve had guys over here with a combined 90+ years of experience and all of them seem confounded.

I’ve got water coming in the exterior of the chimney in the attic. (See pics.) The roof is one year old. The chimney was re-pointed, re-capped, re-sealed and re-flashed. All those that have been up on the roof say it’s a well done job. And you know some contractors love to **** talk other’s work when it’s shoddy.

We’ve poured water on the roof - nothing. We’ve poured water on the base, around the flashing, and water (after about 10 minutes) starts coming down all side of the chimney inside the attic. It doesn’t come down in one spot. It leaks almost evenly down each side.

But if the flashing and the ice shield and shingles are layered correctly, I have no idea why the water would flow in.

This is not a cap issue because we didn’t spray up there and the water was still coming in.

I will say this though. If it pours rain, it takes a while before it leaks. It’s almost as if something is getting soaked or water logged and then it has nowhere else to go.

Water does not come down the inside of the chimney. It’s dry at the flu. It’s dry in the fire place.

The chimney does act as a vent for the oil burning boiler. I only mention this because perhaps the heat and moisture constantly being vented could affect the bricks’ behavior at the roof.

Keep in mind, the chimney is centered on the peak. So it’s odd to me that water would enter the interior of the house on all four sides - even the sides that are down slope where water would want to follow gravity and take it away from the chimney towards the gutter.

I’d be ever so grateful if someone could figure this conundrum out. Or reco a really really friggin good sealer so I can see if that helps for now (better than the Thompson’s that’s on there now).

THANKS!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I’ve got a chimney leak. But this one isn’t an easy one. I’ve had four different masons and chimney repair folks plus a roofer and no one can figure it out. I’ve had guys over here with a combined 90+ years of experience and all of them seem confounded.

I’ve got water coming in the exterior of the chimney in the attic. (See pics.) The roof is one year old. The chimney was re-pointed, re-capped, re-sealed and re-flashed. All those that have been up on the roof say it’s a well done job. And you know some contractors love to **** talk other’s work when it’s shoddy.

We’ve poured water on the roof - nothing. We’ve poured water on the base, around the flashing, and water (after about 10 minutes) starts coming down all side of the chimney inside the attic. It doesn’t come down in one spot. It leaks almost evenly down each side.

But if the flashing and the ice shield and shingles are layered correctly, I have no idea why the water would flow in.

This is not a cap issue because we didn’t spray up there and the water was still coming in.

I will say this though. If it pours rain, it takes a while before it leaks. It’s almost as if something is getting soaked or water logged and then it has nowhere else to go.

Water does not come down the inside of the chimney. It’s dry at the flu. It’s dry in the fire place.

The chimney does act as a vent for the oil burning boiler. I only mention this because perhaps the heat and moisture constantly being vented could affect the bricks’ behavior at the roof.

Keep in mind, the chimney is centered on the peak. So it’s odd to me that water would enter the interior of the house on all four sides - even the sides that are down slope where water would want to follow gravity and take it away from the chimney towards the gutter.

I’d be ever so grateful if someone could figure this conundrum out. Or reco a really really friggin good sealer so I can see if that helps for now (better than the Thompson’s that’s on there now).

THANKS!!!!
649885
71E4489A-BDBC-4CF0-A0E0-926D37C4BE8B.jpeg
 

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Was there any signs of a leak before the new roof was installed? Was a new flashing used? If not then my guess is the chimney flashing. You may have to remove the shingles around the chimney and re-do them. Not that big of a deal with the chimney centered at the peak.
Good luck.
 

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My guess is that there is a hole in one shingle, that is allowing water to penetrate under it.

This water is flowing around all the flashing, until it is over flowing, and has to go somewhere, this would be over the top of the flashing, and then down the bricks inside.

You might try to re roof the immediate area around the chimney, with new shingles.

Flex-seal has a spray sealant, that I would use at that time, to spray around the flashing edges, al around the chimney, then re-shingle the area.

It's amazing that the Flex-seal spray works, I laughed at the fool and his rubber boat ads, but was desperate, and as a last ditch effort, tried the Flex-seal spray.

It sealed, and has not leaked since.


ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Was there any signs of a leak before the new roof was installed? Was a new flashing used? If not then my guess is the chimney flashing. You may have to remove the shingles around the chimney and re-do them. Not that big of a deal with the chimney centered at the peak.
Good luck.
Apparently there was a leaking issue prior to the new roof and chimney work. (We bought the house right after the work was done.)

New flashing was used. Two lead layers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My guess is that there is a hole in one shingle, that is allowing water to penetrate under it.

This water is flowing around all the flashing, until it is over flowing, and has to go somewhere, this would be over the top of the flashing, and then down the bricks inside.

You might try to re roof the immediate area around the chimney, with new shingles.

Flex-seal has a spray sealant, that I would use at that time, to spray around the flashing edges, al around the chimney, then re-shingle the area.

It's amazing that the Flex-seal spray works, I laughed at the fool and his rubber boat ads, but was desperate, and as a last ditch effort, tried the Flex-seal spray.

It sealed, and has not leaked since.


ED
Is the Flex-Seal a topical solution? As in, does it get sprayed over the bricks and flashing? And is it clear? Or a black coat of rubber?
 

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Is the Flex-Seal a topical solution? As in, does it get sprayed over the bricks and flashing? And is it clear? Or a black coat of rubber?

Yes it can be sprayed over brick, and shingles.

It originally was black, then they came out with white also, and colors.

I think it is now available as a clear one too, you need to do a search on Google, to see more about the stuff.

I have used the black, and the white, it does work, I had to apply a second coat, just to be sure, but it is holding up well.


ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I won't be able to get up there. It's a little too high and too steep for my liking. I can take from the yard, but it might be a bit far away.
 

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Was sheet metal pieces of step flashing installed with each course of shingles around the chimney and then counter-flashed with lead on all 4 sides of the chimney?/
 

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The advice that you’re getting would be more definitive if we had some photos of the chimney above the roofline.

I had this same situation this winter, although on just one side of the chimney. I did some water application on a dry day to understand where the leak was. First I poured water on the roof, up against the chimney. No leaks. Later I poured water on the chimney itself so that it ran down the chimney. That leaked. So I knew that the problem was the counter flashing. Careful inspection showed a gap in the bed joint where rain could get in and around the counter flashing, then travel down the wall to appear there in the view from the attic, just like in your photos.

Chris

chimney.png
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks Chris.

Are you suggesting, based upon this diagram that water was getting in where the flashing is folded into the chimney - where the mortar is?

After much inspection, everyone seemed to think that was done perfectly. But considering the water flows in on all four sides when we tested it with a house then maybe it’s the culprit. (Note: my photo is just the beginning of the water leaking. Usually it comes down the whole face, not just on part of it. And a I’ve mentioned before, it happens on all four sides.)

How did you resolve it? Did you completely re-flash it? Was it in good shape? Did you seal it? One chimney contractor suggested putting a layer of rubber-like sealant over it and I’ve got an old house where a black tar-like applicant would look awful.

Thanks again for the reply.
 

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Are you suggesting, based upon this diagram that water was getting in where the flashing is folded into the chimney - where the mortar is?
Yes, that’s correct.

After much inspection, everyone seemed to think that was done perfectly. But considering the water flows in on all four sides when we tested it with a house then maybe it’s the culprit. (Note: my photo is just the beginning of the water leaking. Usually it comes down the whole face, not just on part of it. And a I’ve mentioned before, it happens on all four sides.)

How did you resolve it? Did you completely re-flash it? Was it in good shape? Did you seal it? One chimney contractor suggested putting a layer of rubber-like sealant over it and I’ve got an old house where a black tar-like applicant would look awful.

Thanks again for the reply.
You’re welcome. It’s important to be sure of the cause before moving on to the solution. If you can flood water onto the roof below the level where the counter flashing embeds in the chimney without water appearing below, then it proves where the water is getting in. It seems odd that a new installation would leak where the counter flashing embeds in the chimney on all four sides unless the applicator used an incorrect product that either didn’t bond to the bricks or shrank slightly after installation.

My problem was solved with a tiny amount of caulk, but caulk isn’t permanent. I wouldn’t do that for a location that I wanted to be trouble-free for a long time into the future (ditto for the suggestion made to you about a layer of rubber/tar sealant). If the same location is the source of the problem with your chimney, then I’d mechanically remove the mortar(?) that was used and re-apply.

Chris
 
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