Signs of fall are definitely upon us, here, in Pittsburgh—leaves of many colors, cooler days and colder nights and the distinct smells of working fireplaces. Synonymous with fall weather, fireplaces offer warmth, coziness, and relaxation as we spend more time inside. In order to enjoy the benefits this winter, be sure to regularly inspect and maintain your fireplace and chimney to ensure it is operating efficiently and effectively.
One of the most common problems, particularly with aging chimneys, is leaks. Chimney Leaks can be caused for a variety of reasons, but Ed’s Woodshed addresses the most common culprits below:
Without a cover, or properly fitted cap, on your chimney, there is nothing to prevent the flue from water entry. Rain, snow, as well as animals and leaves, can easily find their way into your fireplace. Not only will you have leaks, but if a larger item gets trapped in the chimney, the air flow can become blocked causing a poisonous buildup of carbon dioxide. To prevent potential water leaks and CO poisoning, invest in a properly fitted chimney cover.
If you are experiencing leaks, it may be caused by a cracked crown. A chimney crown is the cement part on the top of the chimney. As chimneys age, the cement can deteriorate causing small cracks where water can seep in. If left untreated, water buildup may cause bigger problems through the winter as it goes through a continuous freeze/thaw cycle, causing the cracks to expand. Most small cracks can be sealed with crown-coating materials to prevent further damage and leaks.
Fireplace flashing, usually aluminum, surrounds the chimney and bends over the shingles. Along with waterproof tar, the flashing seals the area where the bricks meet the roof, preventing water from seeping through the seams. If flashing is improperly installed, damaged or worn, you will begin to see signs of water leakage.
If your chimney is older, it may not have been properly lined. Therefore, a buildup of condensation may cause your chimney to leak. Often, this problem can easily be fixed by installing an updated chimney liner.
Most importantly, when experiencing a chimney leak, be sure that the problem is correctly identified before making unnecessary repairs. Water could be entering from a roof shingle or attic vent and making its way to your chimney. Before investing money to fix the problem, be sure the true cause of the leak is determined.
Located in Bridgeville, PA, Ed’s Woodshed has been providing quality fireplaces and superb fireplace services to customers in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania for over 30 years. We provide you with quality care and consistency that you can trust—at an affordable price. If you are looking to install a fireplace in your Pittsburgh home or are in need of fireplace services, call Ed’s Woodshed today at 412-257-0492.
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