What to Know About Leaky Chimneys

Water is the most insidious element that can enter your chimney system or fireplace. Leaks in your chimney can erode the masonry clay liners and/or cause rust to metal liners and the firebox. Doing everything you can to prevent leaks and water of any kind from entering your chimney and fireplace is far more affordable than rebuilding and replacing.

Easy Things That Keep Water at Bay

The first thing to make sure you have is something to cap the flue like a chimney cap, chimney surround or top-down damper. All of these have the ability to keep water from entering the system through the flue.

The other thing that must be checked during the annual inspection is the crown. If there are cracks or gaps in the crown or it has pulled away from the chimney sides, water can easily enter the system.

Making Your Chimney Water Repellent

Another preventative measure that is recommended is to make your chimney water repellent with some of the new products we now have available.

For a long time the fireplace and chimney industry didn’t have a good solution to protecting chimneys and masonry. Just sealing it from the outside sealed off the brick and the stone’s ability to breathe and let small particles and gases move through from the inside of the structure to the outer atmosphere. This is called permeability.

The exciting thing about these new products is they allow the bricks and stone to breathe while not allowing the water to pass through. This protects the masonry without inhibiting its ability to do exactly what it needs to do on a properly-working system.

If That Doesn’t Fix It

If these easier fixes don’t work, then the problem is likely coming from the way the chimney is constructed or something has worn or rusted through. A break in the flashing, tear from wind, rust from pooling water or damage from falling limbs or other debris are all things we will look at when diagnosing a leaking chimney.

We find companies that are not chimney specific tend to overlook some of these areas. Because we are trained, certified, live and breathe fireplaces and chimneys, our goal is to find and fix the problem the first time, every time. We believe, if given the chance, we will wow you!

That’s why Winston’s Chimney Service has the #1 rating on Angie’s List (#1 chimney company since 2009) and on The Better Business Bureau website (A+ rating). Please check us out then give us a call or contact us online. We look forward to helping you with any issue on your fireplace or chimney system.


To prevent other unwanted things getting into your chimney, be sure you have a well-fitted chimney cap and damper in place. Winston’s Chimney Service can install either or both of these as part of our complete chimney and dryer vent service.