Chimney done last year and still leaking

Hi all. First time poster hoping to gain some insight before I make a call.

I moved into a place last year. I have a roof that has a good 10 years left. I had multiple people come and look and all said the same thing.

Also before I moved in there was some chimney work done. Some regarding (see photo of chimney).

Unfortunately when I went into my attic the other day when it was raining I could see what spots on my roof from inside the attic. The wet spots are right next to the chimney.

I’m not sure where to go from here. A chimney person? A roofer?

Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

Pics show that leak starts about half way up the side of the chimney.
Roofer should find it easily.
Might just be some counter flashing that needs to be re-sealed.

Thanks. I appreciate the response. I had no idea where to start so o apprentice the guidance.

Got a pic of the whole chimney and the cap? Those “spots” on the underside of the deck appear old. What is going up the flue now? Is your furnace 80% blower induced draft?

Hi there Dark Thirty,

I apologize for my delay after you kindly responded. I should have checked back sooner.

I need to find out some answers to your questions regarding what’s exactly hiking up the flue. Also, what do you mean by furnace being 80% draft?

I need to research these. What I do know is that my furnace is forced hot water.

And here is a picture of my roof.

What would be surprising is if that chimney did not leak.

Not really sure what chimney work was done by looking at it. That chimney needs tuckpointed and sealed. You’ll need to use soft mortar/type O, due to the un fired brick. The corbelled top doesn’t help either. I’d eliminate that and pour a wash on top. If the furnace or boiler is 80% or better efficient and vented through that chimney, you’ll need to install a liner. The byproduct of natural gas, other than CO and CO2, is water vapor that will condense and saturate the cold brick. It might be more economical to take the chimney down below roof level and install a metal liner, flashing, rain collar and cap.

Thank you for responding. Here is the work that was recently done:

  1. Remove present connector pipes (smoke pipes) from chimney, eliminating them from points at which they are too close to combustible materials.
    Supply & Install proper piping materials, re-locate insertion points, re-install into chimney.

  2. Supply & Install cast aluminum cleanout / inspection access door on chimney wall to allow for present and future chimney inspection and thorough cleaning.

  3. Boiler / WaterHeater flue cleaning, our standard cleaning fee.

  4. Re-Seal the rubber gaskets around two sewer vent pipes with clear elastomeric caulking.

  5. Chimney cap

Here is the work that is suggested in the future. The above was Phase 1. Below are the other two phases recommended.

Phase 2

Grind out and Re-Point all 20 (twenty +/-) courses (rows) of chimney brickwork. All four sides of exterior chimney.

This includes all brick joints above roof flashing, horizontal and vertical.

Explanation:

Mortar joints (between brick) are damaged / missing due to exposure to weather over the years.

Old, weak mortar joints are ground out using a diamond blade wheel as thick as the original mortar joint.

Re-pointing replaces the loose / eroded mortar that was removed by the angle grinder wheel, creating a new outer mortar joint surface and strengthens the chimney without dismantling / re-building.

Note that re-pointing is a less expensive (approx 1/3 the cost) alternative to re-building and may be chosen if the chimney is generally secure but in need of repair.

Re-pointing will leave the current bricks in place and in the same position as present.

Phase 3

Supply and Install stainless steel chimney liner system for 2Boiler / 2WaterHeater flue.

Protects the original chimney structure by creating new pathway for exhaust fumes and moisture to pass through. Stops the erosion of the original clay flue and the un-lined flue sections… and ensures that dangerous gases are contained and properly evacuated from the home.

Based on this information, do I not have a roofer come and just have the Chimney people care for all of this in the Spring when they are able to do the work?

Thanks again for all your help.

Quite verbose! If you can’t blind them with brilliance … They should have dropped the liner to start with, the water heater / furnace flues are wyed together before penetrating the chimney sidewall. Did they inspect in the attic? Had more than a few chimneys that had been pointed numerous times from the roof up and there were large holes in the attic where the brick had eroded. Something about their bloviations would make me leery. Either way, I’d get more bids / opinions.

Hi there. Thanks again. Here are the notes from the attic portion of the chimney:

Repair / Strengthen the attic portion of the chimney** where erosion due to minor spalling has been observed. Prep chimney surface by scrubbing off loose brick surfaces, applying bonding agent. Install mortar skim coat on all four sides of the attic exposure.
Explanation:

I consider this to be mostly a cosmetic and minor strengthening procedure. It has certain value, and is not an easy repair but should not be considered an urgent issue and should be addressed in the future though at some point.

Out of curiosity, would I be able to ask about taking the Chimney down below roof level? Do chimney companies do this or are they all about aesthetics of chimneys and wanting to keep them and maintain them?

Also, if I have a gas steam furnace is there a way to go high efficiently and get rid of chimney altogether and send gasses out through PVC? A do-it-yourselfer suggested I look into this but I was under the assumption that I needed the Chimney with a steam furnace. I definitely have funds to start converting the way my home is heated considering this new found issue has thrown me off guard.

Thanks again.

Thanks again

You have a steam boiler. The flue gasses are the same as a forced air furnace. The low efficiency furnaces would have a large volume of wasted heat and un burned fuel go up the chimney, basically heating the flue. 80+% furnaces have a 4 or 5" flue pipe with a blower to get the exhaust moving. When you dump that into a cold 12"X12" you lose velocity and heat. Therefore condensation. Sounds like these people are all about maintaining a steady cash flow…

Hi Darkthirty,

I truly appreciate all your help. I will be calling another Chimney company to give me some feedback based on their observations.

Just out of curiosity, do people with gas steam boilers ever get rid of their Chimneys altogether? Also, is it a chimney company I should be communicating with or is their a different type of tradesperson?

By the way, I attached a photo of my current gas steam boiler.

Thanks again. Your support has been invaluable.

If there is no fireplace/woodstove you can easily switch to a B vent. Old masonry chimneys need inspected for holes, voids, et al. Copperfield chimney has relining material if you want to keep the chimney, or just avoid a complete demo. I’ve dropped 2 story liners and completed the connections in as little as 1 hour.

Thanks. And I personally don’t care about the chimney. Just want to maintain a healthy home.

There is no wood stove or fireplace. Just a chimney That our basement mechanics go in for my unit and the unit downstairs.

So if I have a Chimney person come and I mention the options that you wrote I’m assuming they will know how to respond?

I just want to say thanks again. I really wanna fix the water problem and it looks like to fix the water problem in my attic but I’m going to have to figure out the chimney. And if I need to figure out the chimney I may as well do it right.

HVAC company should be able to handle it. Might need to work with a roofer to knock down the chimney, do a little framing and deck work, then install the shingles and roof flashing. I could do the whole job, so I’m sure there are others…

Tear of that garbage in the morning to make easy work on cement and counterflash properly.why so hard.or expensive? 2hrs job at most

Sorry. Tear of what? The tar?

The whole chimney needs pargeted or pointed and sealed.

Ya,take off shingles around it and install new aluminum flashing