Leaky Fireplace - Need Help !!!

ibjamminJuly 24, 2007

Last weekend while we were having a hard rain storm, I noticed that after a while, there was water steadily dripping into the fireplace. Then a couple of days later while it was raining again, I noticed that it leaked again. It apparently is coming through the chimney top and not around the flashing where the chimney goes through the roof. Up until the first of June I had a woodstove in the fireplace hole so I don't really know whether it was leaking then or not even though my wife said she thought she had heard rain drops hitting the back of the woodstove. So I don't know how long this has been happening. Since I pulled the woodstove out last month, I had laid a solid metal plate across the top of the chimney underneath a make shift chimney cap I have sitting up there to try and keep my a/c air from going up the chimney. I just don't see how rain could get around that metal plate and leak into my fireplace. Does anyone know where the water could be coming from and what I might need to do to fix the problem ?

Another question I have is on my chimney, I do not have a clay flue like I see in pictures on most web sites. Mine is just a big open hole. Is this something I need to have installed ? Ever since I have used this fireplace it has always had a problem of smoke coming into the house on windy days. Could this be caused by not having a smaller flue hole instead of the great big one I have now ?

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"IF" it is a masonry (brick) chimney & it doesnt have a clay flue liner in it then it may be quite old possibly prewar era or older depending upon the location of it .If you have a watertite solution on the top of the chimney now & it is still leaking internaly then the water is probably coming from the mortar joints & deterorated bricks & dripcap on the top of the chimney, the way to fix that is to tear down the chimney to the roof line & rebuild it ( if it is only the cap & the rest of it is sound then you may only have to replace the cap) . Without a liner of any kind inside the chimney I would highly recomend that you dont use it especially with a woodstove . I would have an expert ( older experienced mason) in your area take a good look at it & make a recomendation on how to repair this unit. Smoke coming into the house on windy days is probably due to downdrafts caused by either the chimney not high enough or tall trees / structures nearby. I repeat do not use this chimney until you have it inspected. Some more info on this would also be helpful.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 8:13PM
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