Chimney leaks can be caused by snow, not only by the heavy downpours of rain! Chimney leaks occur year round due to exposure to various weather conditions. Whether it be rain, snow, wind or sunshine, chimneys begin to decay as weather wears on them. The exterior of the chimney is very porous and lets water in easily, leading to water damage. We often hear about chimney leaks happening in the summer because of the rain, but what about in winter? Let’s take a look at a customer and their first-hand experience with a chimney leak caused by snow.
A customer shared, “One evening, I was at the dinner table with my family. I heard a sound like dripping water. Naturally, I headed to the bathroom to check the faucet. It wasn’t leaking water. I checked around the house and found nothing out of the ordinary, so I returned to dinner.
A few days later, while the house was quiet, I could hear the faint dripping sound once again. I noticed it was coming from the living room, near the fireplace. I looked up, and saw a small wet spot on the ceiling near the chimney. It was winter time so there was no rain, only snow and ice. I found it hard to believe it was a chimney leak, since I thought that the water froze during the winter! I called Superior Chimney for a chimney inspection and a chimney repair.”
Finding the Chimney Leak
We found a nearly unnoticeable stream of water on the inside of the customer’s chimney. Typically, chimney leaks are reported in the spring and summer because of the amount of rain, but in winter, it’s common to experience chimney leaks caused by snow in the freeze thaw process. The chimney is used often, causing the snow and ice to melt. Sometimes, the condensation can build up inside the chimney and begin to leak down, causing some damage to the ceiling. Only sometimes the damage is where the ceiling and chimney meet. The dripping noise comes from the water leaking down into the fireplace. Other times, water likes to travel to other parts of the house, making it more challenging to identify the source of the leak.
Fortunately, the customer was able to see the water damage on the ceiling. But this is not the only way to find a chimney leak caused by snow melt. Three other ways to spot a chimney leak during the winter are:
- A musty odor in the fireplace.
- Water stains or condensation on the interior chimney walls, or inside the fireplace.
- Cracked masonry on the outside of the chimney.
Chimney leaks caused by snow can be more difficult to identify and repair in winter because you use your chimney in the Winter, Fall and Spring. It is important to fix chimney leaks right away before the summer comes and the leaks, along with the deterioration, become worse. We can help repair your chimney leak before it turns into a costly repair.