05:47AM | 02/22/01
Member Since: 02/21/01
6 lifetime posts
OK you guys .. I've been reading you for a while now and you all seem pretty sharp. Let's see what you think of this one:

I have a 40-yr-old brick house with a brick fireplace in the kitchen. When we bought the house, rain would drip into the fireplace. We re-roofed (needed to be done anyway), and the drip continued. New chimney cap (also needed anyway), still drips. I've climbed around in the attic during downpours and there isn't one drop of water around the fireplace, but my casserole dish in the fireplace fills up every time!

What should I try? This one has me scratching my head alot. I haven't tried spending a weekend spraying areas of the chimney with a hose to track the leak. But I see many of you talking about porous mortar. How common is that?

Thanks for your help in advance.

-- Sarah/knit


07:55AM | 02/22/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1678 lifetime posts
Testing with a water hose is good. Some thoughts:
Is this a 2 (or more) story house? Can you look up close at all the exposed parts of the chimney to verify there are no cracks in it? Are there any water marks anywhere else in the house, like a ceiling? Once it starts raining, how long does it take to start dripping in the chimney - is it immediate? And how long does it continue to drip after the rain stops? Does wind or wind direction have any effect? Is the rain water that comes in discolored? If so, with what? Finally, how far can you see up the chimney by sticking your head in and using a flashlight?

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited February 22, 2001).]


02:49AM | 02/23/01
Member Since: 02/21/01
6 lifetime posts
Wow .. I have some research to do! I'll get up there and look around this weekend. It's been raining this week, so the hose and ladder have had to wait.

I can answer some of those questions:

The house is a one-story ranch, but the chimney extends to the basement where there is a second fireplace. I haven't found any water in the basement fireplace. The house has settled, and there is a prominent crack but that's on the inside of the house (at ground level, below the leak). I'll look for more this weekend.

The only water marks I've seen are from water that I don't catch in the fireplace running onto the floor, and subsequently into the basement. That hasn't happened very often. The ceilings are all dry.

The leak will start within a few minutes of a storm. The intensity of rain and wind seem to affect the volume of water. I haven't been able to determine what the preferred wind direction is. The leak will stop within a few minutes of rain ending.

The water that comes in is like dirty lake water ... translucent, but brown. It also has soot-like sediment. I have stuck my head into the flue, and the previous owners packed some kind of black foam/goo into the flue to, I assume, stop the leak. The water is coming in around the goo.

What is the significance of the water color? That's an interesting question!

Thanks again ..



03:20AM | 02/23/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1678 lifetime posts
I was thinking that if the water has something in it, besides soot, that might give a clue to where it's been.
The fact that it starts dripping soon after rain begins, and stops quickly, suggests that it is getting directly into the chimney, and not taking an indirect path or building up a "puddle" before it overflows into another area. My suspicion is a crack somewhere on the outside.


05:34AM | 03/19/01
Member Since: 02/21/01
6 lifetime posts
For the curious:

I finally got a chance to climb up on the roof with a hose and my spouse in the kitchen waiting for the leak. For 30 minutes I doused 2' X 2' sections of the chimney to no avail. Then I hit one part and my husband comes running outside "Stop!! Stop!! Water's pouring in!!"

Sure enough, after some more testing, it's this one 2' X 2', vertical, seemingly normal section of brick that's syphoning in all that water. We both stood on the roof with our noses to the brick trying to see where the water comes in (I'm sure the neighbors loved this) but there really are no visual clues. How bizarre!!

We've covered this part of the chimney and will consult some masonry folks about sealing the area. Any advice on a clear masonry sealer would be appreciated ... we also decided to get bids for a cricket after seeing how the water pooled on the flashing .. that has disaster written all over it!

We are very fortunate that this section of the chimney is not viewable from any point in the yard. The gods were smiling!!

Thanks for your help rplsjaksxz!!

[This message has been edited by knit1purl2 (edited March 19, 2001).]


04:51AM | 10/24/13
I'm broke, and have to fix things myself. I rented a house and the fireplace is dry, but when it rains, the water will trickle in between the blocks (of the back wall of fire place). One can see the slow water come inside, but it doesn't appear to be coming from the roof; or through top of the chimney. The home is older, but has a large beautiful top on the roof for the chimney. Guessing, it is about 3-4 feet in width, height, and about 18 inches in width? It appears to have a concrete top upon it, and openings on the sides. So; difficult to buy modern caps. When probably unnecessary. However, the openings on the side was large enough for a huge raccoon to get inside, and scare me half to death. Presently old and handicapped, and can't get on the roof. Thought of hiring someone to place chicken wire around the openings, to prevent animals from coming inside? Don't want it to appear tacky. But, glad the damper was closed and the huge raccoon got scared and climbed out. Water appears to seep inside between blocks on the backside of fireplace in living room when it rains heavy; didn't know if it needed caulked? It presently uses an artificial gas logs, which I have never used. Used to enjoy a lot of repairing, now an old lady and can't do squat. Can you help me out? Thanks, and God bless!



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