I have a masonry (red brick) chimney on the side of my cape cod.
Unfortunately the chimney has a leak that shows as a streak of water
running into the ashbox in the basement and eventually drips on the
basement floor. The situation seems to be slowly getting worse. I
tuckpointed some joints that appeared loose but it did not stop the
water. I checked the flashing and it looks OK too. I'm also pretty sure
the leak is above grade because there is a stovepipe hole above the
grade level and I see moisture there as well.
My idea right now is to give up on trying to pinpoint the exact source
of the leak and cover the whole chimney with vinyl siding (the house
has vinyl siding on it as well so I should be able to match it).
Is it a good idea to cover it with siding? Is it likely to solve my
problem? I really can't afford to rebuild the whole chimney. Is a sided
chimeny going to look so weird that no one will ever buy the house?
Looking for feedback. Thanks.
do you have a chimeney and masonry cap on top of the chimney? They sell
stainless steel chimney caps to stop birds from getting it and then a roofer
can pu aluminum flashing material over the top masonry so water doesn't
saturate the bricks from the top. I would start there.
Unless your furnace flue/water heater etc, use the same stack, a quick cheap
test- buy a cheap tarp, and cap the chimney for a month or so, and see if
the leak stops. (If the neighbors complain, explain that it is temporary.)
Since fireplace season is over, and the spring rains are due to start soon,
this should tell you if water is coming from the top.
The vinyl siding is, IMHO, a bad idea. Siding isn't watertight, there is no
good way to attach to brick w/o making problem worse, and it will make the
eventual fix more expensive. When you repointed the mortar, did you
perchance block any weep holes?
No way to tell w/o seeing it, but my bet is that leak is either from cap
area, or at the roof-chimney joint flashing, from ice damming. Flashing/caps
can look fine, but still have pinhole leaks and faulty joints that admit
driven rain, or water under ice seeping in on sunny winter days.
Probably not a huge problem- as long as chimney is square and straight, no
big cracks showing in mortar courses, and not pulling away from house, I
wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over it.
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