It’s coming into the holiday season, which means you’ll be baking and buying presents like crazy. And don’t forget decorating! You’ll want to put up the tree, hang outdoor lights, and decorate the mantle. There’s nothing like the cheery twinkling of lights among greenery hanging above the fireplace, while the stockings are hanging from the mantle. But while you’re doing your decorating, you may notice something disturbing. Perhaps the paint around the fireplace is peeling or flaking. It could be that some wallpaper is looking water stained or is weak and peeling. Maybe you notice that the ceiling looks discolored and when you check it out, it is soft and weak. You can tell that there’s a leak somewhere, but where? Chances are, your chimney is the culprit.

Causes of Chimney Leaks

Did you know that your chimney could have had a destructive chimney fire without you even being aware of it? If you’ve not had your chimney inspected for awhile, you could have quite a creosote buildup. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, even an eighth of an inch of creosote buildup is enough to cause a devastating chimney or house fire. That being said, however, many chimney fires take place with the owner not even being aware that it’s taking place. This is especially dangerous because that fire could be causing serious structural damage, and that could be the source of your leak. When a chimney fire weakens the mortar of your chimney, water from precipitation can get through and leak down into the bricks surrounding your fireplace, and that’s where your water damage is occurring.


The flashing of your chimney could also be causing water leaks. The flashing is the sheet metal pieces that cover the joint between your roof and your chimney. It’s pretty easy to see that this would be a perfect spot for precipitation to sneak in if you didn’t have flashing; even with the flashing, leaks can happen. The flashing can be loosened by wind and storms, or it can just plain wear out, and you may be seeing the effects of this on the interior of your home.

Mortar Joints

Another area of concern could be the mortar joints. The mortar between the bricks or tile of your chimney is a tough material, but it isn’t indestructible. Over time, water can penetrate and wear away at the mortar, and this causes a condition called spalling. When spalling occurs, the structure of your chimney is weakened, and this can leave areas where water can seep in and down your chimney.

Call Us for an Inspection Today

These are just a few of the reasons you may be seeing a chimney leak. To get to the bottom of a leaky chimney, you’ll want to call a CSIA certified chimney sweep company: Black Velvet Chimney. Through our experience, we know just where to look to find the source of the leaks and get it repaired in time for the holiday season.