Water Leakage or Condensation in The Fireplace

By Fix4U Team
Fireplace, Appliances

Nothing ruins the warm, cozy feeling of a fireplace quite like noticing water leakage or seeing pools of moisture collecting on the hearth. If your fireplace is suffering from unpleasant water leakage or condensation issues, this repair guide from Fix4U Repairs will walk you through troubleshooting the common causes and fixing the problem for good.

Water condensation in a fireplace can lead to damaged masonry, mold growth, and even structural issues if left unchecked. By pinpointing the source of the moisture and making the right repairs, you can get your fireplace back to providing a dry, enjoyable fire year-round.

Where is the Water Coming From?

The first step is identifying whether the water is coming from external leaks or internal condensation.

External Leaks

Water Leakage Or Condensation Fix By Fix4U Repairs' Technicians In Gta

If you notice water droplets or drips coming down the chimney when it’s not raining, external leaks are likely to blame. Potential sources include:

  • Damaged or missing chimney cap
  • Cracked chimney crown
  • Deteriorated chimney mortar joints
  • Faulty or improperly installed flashing
  • Small cracks or holes in the chimney stack

Inspect all areas of the exposed chimney and roof flashing when the chimney is dry for any gaps or damage that could allow water intrusion. Use a flashlight and mirror to check the chimney crown and inside the flue.

Internal Condensation

Finding puddles of water on your fireplace hearth or damp areas on the surrounding walls may point to condensation as the culprit.

Cool chimney flues can allow moisture in the indoor air to condense and collect as water droplets. Restricted airflow, a cold chimney, and high indoor humidity are common condensation causes.

Check for signs of water droplets or running streaks inside the fireplace flue and chimney. Condensation often leaves white mineral deposits behind too.

How to Fix External Chimney Leaks?

If the source of the water is an external leak through damaged areas of the chimney, proper repairs are critical.

Replace Missing or Damaged Chimney Cap

The chimney cap keeps out rain, debris, and animals. If it’s cracked or missing altogether, water can pour right in. Install a new, properly sized rain cap that fits your flue shape.

Repair Chimney Crown

The cement chimney crown seals the top of the chimney masonry. Cracks here let in water. Reseal small cracks with crown repair caulk. For major damage, re-crown the chimney using hydraulic cement.

Repoint Chimney Mortar

If the mortar joints between chimney bricks have deteriorated, repointing is needed to seal cracks. Consult a mason for proper repointing using appropriate chimney mortar.

Replace Flashing

The metal flashing provides a waterproof barrier where the roof and chimney meet. Inspect closely for open seams, rust, or loose materials. If compromised, have a roofer replace the flashing.

Repair Holes and Cracks

Small holes or cracks in the chimney can be sealed using a high-heat caulk or hydraulic cement. Larger cracks may need brick or stone repairs by a mason.

Fixing Internal Water Leakage or Condensation Issues

For moisture issues caused by condensation, address the root causes:

Increase Air Flow

Improving air circulation in the flue helps reduce condensation buildup. Open the damper to allow airflow when not in use. Remove blockages around the damper. Consider installing a fan-assisted chimney cap.

Insulate the Flue

Adding insulation liner inside the flue keeps the flue warmer and reduces surface condensation. Stainless steel liners or chimney insulation wraps are good options.

Install Humidistat-Controlled Fan

A powered vent fan controlled by a humidistat will automatically turn on to remove humid air when conditions necessitate. This helps control interior moisture levels.

Check for Leaks in Flue

Any openings or leaks in the flue or damper will increase condensation by letting interior humidity enter. Seal leaks with high-temperature caulk or metal tape.

Maintain Proper Fireplace Use

Burning proper seasoned woods at ideal burn rates and letting fires burn down fully reduces creosote buildup – a major cause of restricted air flow and condensation.

When to Call a Chimney Professional?

While many external leak repairs are DIY-friendly, extensive damage or condensation issues are best left to the experts. Seek professional chimney services for:

  • Complete chimney rebuild or repairs needed above the roofline
  • Interior chimney video inspection to identify needed repairs
  • Relining or rebuilding deteriorated flue liners
  • Major repairs to cracked or crumbling chimney crown or bricks
  • Diagnosing and correcting ongoing condensation or creosote buildup

The National Chimney Sweep Guild has certified sweeps who can diagnose and fix all fireplace moisture issues. HomeAdvisor.com is another good resource for finding a reputable chimney contractor.

For prompt, reliable fireplace leak diagnosis and repairs in the Toronto or GTA region, call the experts at Fix4U Repairs at (647) 363-5205. Our NFI certified technicians have the tools and knowledge to troubleshoot fireplace moisture issues and stop leaks for good.

Water in your fireplace? Call Now to Fix Your Fireplace!

Preventing Future Fireplace Leaks

Follow these tips to keep your fireplace trouble-free:

  • Annually inspect the chimney cap, crown, flashing, and mortar for deterioration
  • Check the firebox, damper, and flue for creosote buildup before each winter
  • Only burn seasoned hardwoods to reduce creosote buildup
  • Keep chimney cleared of nests or debris that can block airflow
  • Keep indoor relative humidity below 50% during cold weather
  • Hire a certified chimney sweep for biannual cleanings and maintenance
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