Chimney Leak Detection in Gaithersburg, MD
Who needs a Leak Detection inspection?
Finding the source of leaks can be tricky. High’s Chimney has years of experience in finding the source of leaks and stopping them. Sometimes, it’s as simple as putting on a rain cover, but sometimes rain has nothing to do with it. High’s Chimney knows what to do to solve chimney leak problems. We’ve helped thousands of your neighbors with leaky chimneys, and we can help you, too.
What is a Leak Detection inspection?
A leak detection inspection focuses on areas of a chimney that commonly cause leaks. This includes the chimney’s cover, crown, bricks, and flashing.
Leak Detection Checklist
- Visual Inspection of the Chimney Structure, Lining, Cover, Crown, and Flashing
- Attic Inspection if Necessary and Possible
- Recommendations for Restorative Actions
A chimney without a cover gets a lot of rain falling straight down into it. Chimney covers not only prevent rain from getting into the chimney top but also birds, animals, and debris. Their ability to prevent direct water damage from rain and blockage caused by animals makes installing chimney covers an effective form of safety.
The chimney crown is a cement surround on top of the chimney. The bricks go around the clay tile flue liner, but at the top, you need something to stop the rain and snow from just falling in around the tiles.
Cracks in the chimney crown can occur from shifting of the structure or from shrinkage dating back to the first day the cement crown was put on. When your crown cracks, water goes right through. It is important to seal these cracks immediately to prevent further damage to the chimney top.
The flashing is what keeps water from entering the area where the chimney goes through the roof (or otherwise comes close to the roof). There is a fairly large gap between the bricks and the roof that water can pour through unless it is sealed. Flashing is made from metal that inserts under the shingles and up the side of the chimney. Another piece of metal is attached to the chimney that bends at the top of the flashing. The bend at the top of the flashing should be inserted into a groove that is cut into the chimney. This bond is sealed to prevent water from entering. Depending on the type of metal and sealant used, flashings deteriorate and don’t last forever.
Often, roof tar, which is far from the optimal choice, is used. There are better materials for sealing flashings now. We use Flash Seal by Saver Systems. It seals better and lasts longer.
Bricks and mortar both pass water, and lots of it. It is the same problem chimney crowns have–freezing and thawing all winter long which causes leaks in the house. Performing a Masonry Absorption Test (MAT) tells us how much water your chimney is absorbing. The test shows if the chimney has proper waterproofing. If it doesn’t, we advise you on the right course of action to prevent water damage.
Contact us to learn more about our chimney leak detection services. We proudly serve clients throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.