Chimneys have their functions but cause leaks on flat roofs
Chimneys are constructed from the following materials:
- Oven baked bricks. (red clay bricks)
- Cinder block
- Field stone
- Wood framed chimneys with siding.
- Metal flue pipe chimneys.
- Clay pipe flue
- Stucco covered chimneys.
Regardless of what they are constructed of, chimneys must have to flash to tie them to a roof.
The flashing on this chimney was tarred over. It’s not the correct way to repair the flashing. The seal where the metal flashing and the chimney meet is where most problems are.
Watch the video to see how to seal a Chimney Crown never to leak again
The flashing on a chimney is one of the biggest reasons for roof leaks. Most of the time the metal flashing has to be inserted into a slot into the face of the brick. That part of the flashing is very vulnerable to leaks. The grout that is supposed to keep the flashing intact comes loose and falls out over a period making it easy for water to penetrate behind the flashing.
The slot was cut with a grinder into the brick to insert flashing.
Chimneys constructed from stone is hardest to prevent causing leaks
Field Stone chimneys are hard to seal. Most of the time when a chimney causes a leak, then it will almost be a chimney constructed from field stones. There are many types of stones and some are more pores than others. It will take an excellent mason to know how to do the flashing to prevent it from leaking.
Chimney Crown is like a Roof
When the crown of a chimney has cracks, then the entire chimney is compromised. It takes years before problems are noticed on chimneys. If a chimney is not maintained, cracks will develop causing expensive repairs later on. This picture shows how the crown was not properly made and cracks on the rest of the chimney have developed compromising the entire chimney.
Newer Brick Chimneys
Even on newly build chimneys, one can find the cement slab separating from the bricks. This is a common problem. Most people will use some caulk to try and seal the crack. Caulking will make it worse and more costly to fix later.
Chimney Crown Overkill
There are times when someone will go overboard and pour a cement slab the makes a statement. This is a chimney crown that will never crack.
Watch the video to see what to look for on a chimney to inspect if it needs maintenance
All chimneys need maintenance over the years. There are three parts to inspect. The crown, body and the flashing.
Rubber Membrane installed over flagstone on a chimney
Some chimneys have flagstone over the top. These flagstones do deteriorate over time and dip towards the center. The flagstone could crack in the center and water gets funneled to the flue pipes. We install a rubber membrane over the flagstone to keep it from leaking.
Chimneys are not always accessible.
Working on chimneys can be dangerous. This chimney was particularly high and we had to use harnesses to tie to it to secure ourselves.
Wrapping a Chimney with Rubber membrane
When a chimney doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing, then the most cost-effective way to seal it is to wrap it with a rubber membrane. Watch the video to see how it is done.