• roof with chimney on side

How Chimney Leaks Can Cause Water Damage in Your Home

Here in northern Illinois, we have crisp fall weather, cold winters, and even many brisk spring days. During these cold times, a home fireplace provides cozy comfort for many. Fireplaces can be wonderful, desirable home features, but they can also be the source of dangerous home maintenance problems. 

One common fireplace issue is chimney leaks – and the water damage they can cause. In this article, we will explain the causes of chimney leaks, how to identify them, and how to get the right help in repairing your home. 

First, let’s talk about how chimney leaks can start. Chimneys have many parts, so chimney leaks can have many sources. Weather and the age of your home are two of the most common troublemakers. Rain, snow, and ice can all flow into your chimney (and home). Weather can also cause structural damage in other ways such as temperature fluctuations and erosion. 

An older chimney that has not been maintained will have numerous problems, many of which can contribute to water damage. Potential age-related leak sources include cracks, crumbling bricks, leaky joints, masonry issues, and missing or damaged chimney caps and flashing.

How Can You Tell if Your Chimney is Leaking?

There are a few ways that you will be able to identify water damage that is coming from your chimney. Some are extremely obvious, and some are more subtle. First, use your nose. If there is a rotten or musty smell coming from your chimney, you may have a leak. This type of odor is often one of the first signs that there is a water damage problem with your chimney. 

Next, use your eyes. Visual signs can include moss or algae on chimney stack bricks and exterior walls, or rust on your fireplace damper, doors, and frame. You should also look for condensation on the inside of the firebox – a lot of condensation in this area is often a sign of water damage. Inspect the masonry as well. If there is spalling and cracking on your chimney, it may be a sign that water is eroding the masonry of your chimney.

Finally, take a look at parts of your home around the chimney. The mantel and baseboards around your fireplace can get warped, and you may see water damage on the walls, ceiling, and flooring near your fireplace. This water damage can look like warping, stains, mold, or bulges. Mold can grow quickly and become hazardous to your health if not treated by a professional. 

If you can see these signs in your home, it’s important to get professional help right away. Locating the source of the leak, repairing it, and professionally restoring any resulting water damage  will prevent further issues in the future. Ignoring leaks and water damage can lead to complications raging from mold-induced health problems to issues with the structural integrity of your entire home.

Professional Help For Water Damage From Chimney Leaks

It’s clear to see that a leaky chimney can cause a lot of dangerous and expensive water damage to your home. Fortunately, there are expert contractors that can help. Water damage gets worse with time, so the faster you get water damage restoration contractors to your home, the quicker the restoration process can begin. 

Water damage is more dangerous than most homeowners understand: Depending on the source of the water, chemicals and toxins may be present and create serious health threats. Even clear water that comes from rain may contain dirt, and creates humidity that stimulates the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. Dealing with water damage is far from simple. You will get the best results when you partner with certified professionals that will remove the water from your home effectively and guarantee the safety and health of your home or business.

If the water damage has allowed mold to grow, it’s essential that you work with a professional mold remediation team. Experienced mold remediation contractors know how to clean and remove the mold safely, preventing the spread of mold from the source to other areas of your home. These teams clean up the mold using tools and techniques like HEPA air scrubbers, HEPA vacuuming, drying, and treating the area.

If you are faced with water damage from a leaky chimney, it is also important to consult your homeowners’ insurance policy to see if you are covered. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover damage from a leaky chimney. It’s always possible that there are some exceptions –  ready your policy carefully, and discuss any question you may have with your agent. 

Protect Your Home and Family with Help from McMahon

Chimneys are large and often complex. Many things can go wrong with them in ways that homeowners can’t immediately see or identify. Proper maintenance and professional help in case of problems will keep your home safe, comfortable, and cozy. At McMahon Services and Construction, we have a 24/7 emergency line, and are always ready to handle any water damage issues, at any time. 

Our highly trained team of technicians can quickly take care of water damage from chimney leaks, and offer professional mold remediation services to homeowners in Chicago, Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Grayslake, Mundelein, Libertyville, Oak Park, Palatine, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Skokie, and surrounding IL service areas. Contact us today to see how we can help you.