Our Company Blog

Common Causes of Chimney Leaks

So you think you have a chimney leak? You may see a leak—in your fireplace itself or in another part of the house. You may hear dripping in an unseen portion of your chimney. Perhaps you haven’t found any evidence of a leak at all but smell musty odors coming from your fireplace this summer. You’re right! These are all indications that you have a chimney leak, but what has caused it? Where is the water coming from?

You may be tempted to call a roofer or general contractor when you suspect a leak in the house, but when you own a home with a chimney system, call the chimney expert first. Your chimney leak is more than likely the cause of your house leak. We’ll help you figure out what’s causing the chimney leak.

Diagnosing a Chimney Leak

chimneys on roofsWe get calls about chimney leaks year-round, but none more than the spring and summer. During this time of year, when the fireplace is out of use, homeowners notice things they usually don’t. When you notice something is “off” about your chimney and suspect a leak, it’s time to call in the chimney professionals. At Chief Chimney Services, we can diagnose a leaky chimney in one appointment, usually without tools and without fuss.


The first thing we check when diagnosing a leaky chimney is the flashing because it is the most common cause of chimney leaks. The flashing is made up of many thin sheets of metal that are placed strategically around the base of the chimney. The intersection of the roof and chimney is the most vulnerable part of the system. If the flashing isn’t installed properly, there is no way to prevent a chimney leak.

It’s important to have your flashing installed by a chimney professional. Can a general contractor or roofer install flashing properly? We hope so, but we can’t guarantee it. Chimney experts are extensively trained and experienced in flashing installation. We install flashing properly and leave no exposed nails. It requires no sealant or roofing tar of any kind.


The chimney crown can become damaged over time due to weather and sun exposure. Unfortunately, crowns often become damaged prematurely when they aren’t constructed properly. Our team at Chief Chimney Services can repair a damaged crown with a special industrial product designed to close gaps and cracks and restore the surface of the crown completely. For severe crown damage, we can construct a new crown to proper specifications for the best protection.

Chimney Cap

Another common cause of chimney leaks is the chimney cap. It could be damaged or missing, and water is allowed directly into the flue opening. We sell and install quality caps to protect your chimney system from water and animal intrusion. If you want complete protection, especially during the offseason, you can opt for a top-sealing damper instead of a cap. This damper closes with an airtight seal and protects your flue like nothing before.

If you have a chimney leak, it’s one of three things: the flashing, the crown, or the cap. In some cases, masonry damage may lead to a leak, and we can help determine if that is the case when you schedule with us.

By John Pilger on August 29th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Common Causes of Chimney Leaks