Leaking Chimney

Troubleshooting Chimney Leak Problems

There are some very common problems that cause leaking chimneys.  The reasons for these problems range from simple age of your chimney, your house settling naturally,  improper installation or poor workmanship.  Many folks want to tackle things like water leaks themselves, and that’s OK. Read on to  get some tips to help resolve common problems with chimneys.

If you can’t solve your water problem, don’t worry – Chimney Works is just a phone call away. We’ll have one of our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps out to help diagnose the problem and recommend solutions.

Leaking Chimneys


During the rainy season, Chimney Works takes a lot of calls from Cincinnati homeowners with water coming in and around their chimneys, fireplaces and stoves. Even clients in newer homes have called saying they are collecting pans of water in the fireplace or wood stove area. There are a number of things we look at in diagnosing the source of this annoying and damaging problem.

First, we evaluate is where the water is appearing. Sometimes the area shows up as discoloration in the drywall or wood structures around your chimney.  Finding where the water is appearing helps us look for the water entry point.

Next, we examine the flashing, the roof around the chimney, the chimney cap and of course the condition of the chimney itself including the chimney crown.

Common Causes Of Chimney Leaks

A chimney with a missing cap is an invitation for rain to come into your home.   Caps keep birds, animals and rain out out of your chimney and out of your home.  We’ll make sure your cap is present and installed properly.

Chimney crown cracks are a common source of chimney leaks.  This concrete ‘roof’ of your chimney has the sole job of keeping water out of your chimney.  Without a chimney crown, you would have a very large open surface area for water to enter your home.  Chimney crowns are sloped to let rain roll off and fall harmlessly onto your shingles.  When a chimney crown is cracked or damaged from age or storm damage, water can get in. Chimney Works can fix cracked crowns by a simple repair and sealing, however once the damage reaches a certain point, we may need to remove and re-lay the concrete chimney crown.

Chimney flashing stops water from going into your home where the chimney meets the roof.  If the flashing has pulled away due to your house settling, or was improperly sealed to begin with, we can either reseal your chimney flashing or install new flashing to prevent further leaking. This is a very common cause of chimney leaks.

The bricks and mortar that make up your chimney can age and cause chimney leaks. We’ll inspect the bricks and mortar to make sure that everything is in order, and if required replace bricks or tuck point the mortar joints.


Last, we examine the resistance to water of the brick and mortar itself.  Applying a sealant will help ensure your chimney lasts longer.

This type of comprehensive troubleshooting approach allows us to make smart recommendations rather than just trying to make a quick sale and be on our way. Our certified technicians will go over their findings with you and make appropriate recommendations based on those findings.


Water penetration can lead to damage costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair. Don’t let this problem go unresolved. Go here for information on Chimney Saver Water Repellent.

did you know?

  • "Chimney Works & Rocky Mountain Stoves has moved! We are now located at 2450 Civic Center Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45231, just off I-275 at Hamilton Avenue. Our large showroom has been redesigned to display a large selection of wood and pellet stoves, fireplace inserts and more!"

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    "Did you know that one of our principals is to avoid pushing a particular brand of stove and let you choose? At Chimney Works, we offer a full line of stoves and inserts, including: Regency Hampton, Buck, Jotul, Hearthstone, Lopi, Napoleon and more! Visit our stoves page for more information."

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