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Is Your Chimney Leaking Water? 6 Common Reasons To Know

Chimney Leaking Water? 6 Reasons To Know - All Climate Roofing

The last thing you want to see is water making its way into your home. If you start seeing water come in, you may think there’s an issue with the roof. It could be your chimney leaking water. Here’s why this may happen and what you can do about it. 

Is Your Chimney Leaking?

Firstly, you’ll want to ascertain whether it is your chimney that’s the cause of the leak in your home. There are several signs that you can look out for, so here’s what you should be seeing with chimney leaks:

Moisture in your chimney

This is a tell-tale sign of a leak somewhere in your chimney. Typically, if there’s moisture, that’s a sign that rain or condensation is making its way into the chimney, which will start causing issues if left alone. You’ll want to get help if you start seeing moisture. 

Pooling or running water

On a similar note, you may see the water start to run down the chimney walls or pool in the fireplace. These are issues you don’t want to ignore, as the longer it happens, the more erosion will happen to the bricks in your chimney, which will lead to more repairs being needed over time. It’s also possible that it can lead to clogs that will create the risk of carbon monoxide building up in your home. 

Sound of dripping water

It’s not just visual signs you need to look for, it’s auditory ones too. You need to be listening for signs of a leak in your chimney. Can you hear water dripping? If the sound is coming from inside your chimney, there’s most likely a leak that you need to address. 

Musty or damp smells

You should also follow your nose if you suspect that there’s a leak in your chimney. The chimney may have a musty or damp smell if water gets into it. 

Water stains 

Water stains are often a sign of a leak, but if you see them on the wall, that’s a sign that your chimney is leaking. Look for stains around the chimney and fireplace to see if there’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

Cracked masonry 

Outside, you may be seeing cracks in your plaster. That’s often a sign of damage to the chimney that needs to be done right as soon as possible. Those cracks can start letting water in, so be wary of them. 

Why Is The Chimney Leaking water?

Now that you know the leak is coming from your chimney, you need to know why. What’s causing it to leak? Here are the most common causes and what can be done about them. 

Damaged Flashing

This is one of the most common reasons why your chimney is leaking. The flashing is a metal sheet installed to protect seams on your roof, including where the chimney meets the roof. When the metal is intact, it stops water from getting into that seam and causing leaks. Flashing can get damaged over time, either from age or storms. The seal is broken, and water can get in when it’s damaged. You’ll need to ask a roofer to inspect your roof and see if the flashing has been damaged, so it can be repaired and stop the leak.

Damaged Brick Or Mortar

Along with the flashing, this is another common reason your chimney leaks. If there are gaps between the bricks, where water can get in, then that will cause leaks. If you’re not finding issues with the rest of the chimney, this is most likely the culprit. Again, you’ll need an expert to confirm this and make the necessary repairs to make your chimney safe. 

Rain Coming Through Chimney

Most chimneys should have a good chimney cap to stop the elements from coming in through the top. If you see leaks, that could mean there’s an issue with the chimney cap or it doesn’t have one. You can check this if you can get onto your roof safely and inspect it. If you see the damage or notice you don’t have a chimney cap, you can have an expert come and replace it for you. 

Cracked Chimney Crown

The chimney crown is typically made of cement and sits above your chimney. When it’s intact, you’ll see it keeps rain out of the chimney, avoiding leaks. Over time though, it may deteriorate, and cracks can appear. That leads to issues where water can get in and start causing damage. Again, if you can get onto your roof safely, you can check the crown to see if it’s suffered damage. If so, you can get it repaired and stop the water damage. 

Guttering Issues

 Issues with your guttering can actually affect your chimney. If the gutters around your chimney are blocked or broken, water can make its way into the chimney itself over time. That’s only going to get worse the longer it’s left, so it needs to be addressed quickly. If the gutters are blocked, then unblocking them by scooping the debris out by hand should work. If they’re broken, then you’ll want to ask a technician to come and replace them for you. 

Missing Or Broken Roofing Tiles

Finally, missing or broken shingles or tiles could cause a leak for similar reasons. Inspect your roof, and see if any shingles are broken near the chimney. If so, then that will be letting water in. This can be done by replacing those shingles and ensuring that the barrier against water is as secure as possible. 


There are several reasons why your chimney has started leaking water. Now you know why this may happen and what to look for. If you notice water leaking in your fireplace every time it rains, it’s best to have a professional inspect the problem as soon as possible. Contact All Climate Roofing today for a chimney inspection and/or roof repair, so you can return to using your fireplace with peace of mind.

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