Let’s face it, the British weather isn’t always the driest or most pleasant. With an average of 133 days of rain or snow per year, it’s no wonder we’re always carrying an umbrella ‘just in case’. As the long-awaited Spring months begin, and you start to think about ditching the raincoat, April showers arrive causing all sorts of chimney problems.
Water coming down your chimney can be a sign that your chimney needs attention. In this blog, we’re going to be talking about the 5 most popular reasons why water may be coming out of the chimney and what to do to put a stop to it.
1. An uncovered flue
If there’s a downpour and the flue is very straight, it’s not uncommon to see some water on the hearth. To prevent rain from entering the flue, we simply install a rain guard. However, despite best efforts, some rain will always get down. To combat this, we work on minimising the amount with the rain guard, so the chimney and flue system will last a long time without any deterioration.
2. Weathered brick joints or cracked bricks
Chimney stacks can be difficult to access and are rarely seen closed. This can mean brick joints or cracked bricks are easily missed. The stack will take a lot of abuse from the wind, rain and frost and the brickwork will start to deteriorate over time. Often, one side of the stack will get damaged more so than the other, due to wind and direction of the rain. With repeated force, brick joints fall out and water will ingress.
3. Cracked or loose flaunching
Chimney flaunching, often an unknown part of the chimney, is a line of cement/lime mortar that is used to hold the chimney pot in place, shielding the rainwater from the chimney. This flaunching may have been badly applied or become cracked and loose due to deterioration. It’s not visible from the ground or easily spotted from the roof due to its height. If the flaunching has broken, water will run directly through the cracks.
As chimney sweeps, we inspect the chimney pots in detail using a professional drone.
4. Damaged or badly fitted flashing
Flashing is applied around the base area of the chimney stack where the stack meets the roof structure. Its purpose is to stop rain from getting into the roof where the chimney and the roof tiles meet. If the flashing has been badly installed or damaged, rainwater will ingress. As with most things, time will take its toll and the flashing will begin to deteriorate. This may expose gaps in the brickwork which could cause damaging chimney leaks.
When the outside temperature is cold, the warmer air from within your home will travel up the chimney. If the chimney is completely sealed, this air is unable to ventilate.
This warm air will be cooled by the cold air around the chimney stack causing condensation. This condensation then has nowhere to go, so runs back down the flue as water droplets. A chimney must be well protected but always ventilated.
If you’ve noticed any water coming down your chimney, now is a good time to call a chimney sweep to come and inspect the issue. Contact a member of the SweepSmart today.