A fireplace is supposed to keep your house warm in winter. While the wood burns heating the interior of the house, toxic gases produced as a byproduct exit through the chimney. This means that without a chimney, having a fireplace is not possible. Sometimes, homeowners observe and complain of water dripping in the fireplace. This could be due to several reasons. Water dripping in a fireplace is not normal and it needs to be fixed immediately preferably by. Here are some chimney repair tips to troubleshoot the problem.
Structural Damage To The Chimney
If you observe water dripping in the fireplace, it could be due to structural damage to the chimney. Most often, people assume that there is some problem with the fireplace itself that is causing the issue. However, such leakages travel through the cracks, holes, etc., and end up in other areas which makes it difficult to spot the source of leakage.
As a start, you need to keep in mind that a chimney is built using brick and mortar. Even though these materials tend to be durable, they will lose their strength and durability with time. This allows both water and moisture to enter the chimney system. The moisture evaporates in summer due to high temperatures.
However, in the cold season, the moisture could get trapped, which leads to freezing and expansion. With time, cracks develop that cause damage to the masonry. A tell-tale sign of damaged chimney masonry is empty space between bricks and spalling bricks.
In the case of chimneys, if you spot even minor cracks or damage, you should not ignore them and instead get them fixed. You can fix the issue by using a sealant. But if the damage is relatively larger, you will need to get an expert to fix it. The expert will also apply the sealant but at the end of the repair process.
Leaks Or Water Stains In The Chimney Area
Water dripping in the fireplace is most likely to come from the chimney area. If that is the case, the water will damage the walls and ruin the paint, plaster, and wallpaper. You might think the water dripping in the fireplace might not be a problem.
There is a high chance that it has reached the walls and will soon cause expensive problems. If you notice discolored patches or paint peeling off in the chimney area, it means the issue is serious.
Furthermore, if you have wallpapers installed, bumps will form on wallpapers and they will at last start peeling off the wall. As a result, you need to remove the wallpapers and try to determine the source of the water leak.
It might not be that easy for you but you should either get the help of a friend or hire an expert to track down the leakage. It is relatively difficult to keep track of a leakage taking place inside the house once you are outside.
Chimney Flue Damage
Another common reason water might be dripping in the fireplace is chimney flue damage. Water coming down through the flue will cause air displacement and it won’t be vented out properly. In addition to that, the flue needs to be in perfect condition and clog-free to help efficiently burn the wood.
If the case is otherwise, your fireplace will consume more wood than usual or won’t burn properly. Keep in mind that the a wood-burning fireplace needs a proper balance of oxygen and toxic gas dispersion to keep the process going. That said, a damaged flue can also direct toxic gasses such as carbon monoxide to your house and can lead to severe health problems.
Remember, carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas, a combination making it one of the most dangerous gasses in the world. This should be enough for you to make sure your flue is always in perfect working condition.
Additionally, install a carbon monoxide detector in your house to get alarmed if a carbon monoxide leak happens.
Damage To The Roof
Sometimes, the problem is not with the fireplace or the chimney but the roof itself. Roof maintenance is an important factor in determining the health and structural integrity of the most important component of the house. Unfortunately, homeowners often ignore it to save themselves the expense.
Sooner or later, they end up in a position where they either have to replace the entire roof or fix a severely leaking area. Both situations require immense effort and can be expensive. If your house is old and you live in a region that sees extreme weather conditions such as high winds, rain, thunderstorms, etc. It is highly likely that your roof has sustained some damage over the years.
You might think your roof is in perfect working condition as there are no prominent signs and symptoms but some take time to become prominent. It might be that your roof has minor leakages or damage in different areas and will eventually grow into bigger ones.
However, by that time, your issues will become worse. Such issues can also cause water to drip in the fireplace. To fix the issue, you will need to hire a professional for chimney inspection Ellicott City who will spot the problems and perform repairs and replacements where needed.
And, to prevent such issues in the future, you should schedule expert maintenance for a thorough inspection every once or twice a year.
Leakage In The Attic
Water dripping in the fireplace might also be due to a leakage in the attic. As mentioned earlier, such issues are not only limited to the chimney or the fireplace. As the water travels down, it also compromises other parts of the house. If the roof’s flashing is damaged, the water will leak into the attic as well.
This means that to determine the root cause of the problem, you need to check out the attic too. Then again, attics are mostly ignored as most homeowners believe there is no connection between water dripping in the fireplace and the attic.
As a result, the attic must be part of the regular inspection of the roof. An important reason roof inspection is necessary is that it covers all the areas of the roof including the chimney, vents, attic, etc. The service might be expensive but helps avoid a lot of complicated issues down the road.
How To Prevent Water Dripping In The Fireplace?
Water dripping in the fireplace is fairly easy to avoid and prevent if you are willing to spend some money now and then. Mostly, the issues arise due to the owner’s negligence. Even if your roof is made of tough and durable materials, roofs will still need inspection and maintenance to keep them going.
Therefore, instead of avoiding expert maintenance and inspections, you should focus on preventing such issues. If possible, perform personal inspections and keep an eye out for unusual signs and symptoms.
Water dripping in a fireplace is not normal and you should inspect your fireplace and chimney to find the cause of the leak. Although the tips mentioned above may help fix the issue, you should watch out for signs and hire chimney contractors Columbia MD to perform periodic maintenance and repairs.