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How to Fix a Leaking Chimney

A leaking chimney is a nuisance and a potential hazard to your home’s structural integrity. Understanding the causes and steps to fix such leaks is crucial for any homeowner. This guide provides a detailed walkthrough on diagnosing and repairing a leaking chimney.


Chimneys are exposed to harsh weather and can develop leaks over time. Identifying and addressing these leaks promptly can save you from extensive and expensive repairs.


Identifying the Source of the Leak


Signs of a Leaking Chimney

  • Water stains on or around the chimney
  • Dampness or mold growth near the chimney
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper near the chimney area

Investigating the Cause

  • Examine the chimney exterior for visible signs of damage.
  • Check the chimney crown, cap, flashing, and bricks for deterioration.


Common Causes of Chimney Leaks

  1. Damaged Chimney Crown: Cracks in the chimney crown can allow water to seep in.
  2. Faulty or Missing Chimney Cap: A damaged or absent chimney cap can’t protect the chimney from rain and snow.
  3. Worn-Out Flashing: Flashing seals the area where the chimney meets the roof. If this is damaged, it can lead to leaks.
  4. Deteriorating Masonry: Over time, the chimney’s brickwork and mortar can deteriorate, allowing water to enter.
  5. Condensation: Inadequate ventilation can lead to condensation buildup, which may cause leaking.


Step-by-Step Repair Process


Repairing the Chimney Crown

  • Fill in any cracks with a suitable crown repair material.
  • Apply a waterproof sealant to protect the crown from further damage.

Fixing the Chimney Cap and Flashing

  • Replace or repair the chimney cap if it’s damaged or missing.
  • Inspect and repair the flashing, ensuring it’s properly sealed and intact.

Addressing Masonry Issues

  • Repoint or replace damaged mortar and bricks.
  • Apply a water-repellent coating to the chimney exterior.

Solving Condensation Problems

  • Ensure proper ventilation to reduce condensation.
  • Inspect the flue liner for any damages or blockages.

Preventative Measures

  • Regular inspections and maintenance of your chimney can prevent leaks.
  • Consider installing a cricket, a small ridge, to divert water away from the chimney base.


Fixing a leaking chimney involves identifying the source of the leak, addressing common causes, and taking preventative measures. Regular maintenance and early detection are crucial to avoiding extensive damage. When in doubt, it’s always advisable to consult a professional for accurate diagnosis and repair.

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