leaky chimneys

The roof is one of the most important structures of a building. It’s essential for protecting the interior from the elements, and it also plays a key role in maintaining the building’s energy efficiency. The chimney is a crucial component of any roof, and it’s responsible for venting smoke and dangerous gases from the fireplace. Therefore, if there is a leak in the chimney, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. However, we don’t recommend calling a roofer to fix a leaking chimney. We’ll explore the five reasons why calling a roofer may not be the best option.


cracked and broken flaunching

Missing and cracked flaunching


The chimney is a vital part of how the fireplace works. 

The chimney is not just a pipe that vents smoke from the fireplace; it’s an essential component of the entire system. The chimney plays a crucial role in maintaining the proper airflow through the fireplace, which is necessary for efficient combustion.  

Any changes to the chimney can affect the fireplace’s performance, leading to various issues, such as smoke coming back into the room, reduced heating efficiency, or even carbon monoxide poisoning. 


Damp stains around the fireplace and flue

Damp stains around the fireplace and flue


To repair chimneys, you must know how they work. 

Chimneys are complex structures, and repairing them requires knowledge and expertise. A roofer may be skilled at fixing roofs, but they might not have the necessary knowledge to repair chimneys properly. Chimneys have various components, such as the flue lining, chimney pot, cap or cowl, flaunching, and flashing, and each component has a specific purpose. It takes a trained chimney professional to identify the problem and carry out the necessary repairs. 


capped chimneys

The top of x3 flues have been completely flaunched over (ignore the apparent lack of cement)


There are different chimney requirements based on the type of appliance. 

Different appliances require different types of terminals (top of the chimney). For example, solid fuel (wood or coal) requires a different terminal type than a gas fireplace. Solid fuel fireplaces will produce soot and a large volume of smoke, this must be evacuated freely to prevent the corrosive effects of creosote buildup, while terminals for gas have specified requirements for each type of appliance and flue. Chimney professionals have the knowledge and expertise to identify the type of appliance and ensure that the chimney is properly installed and vented. 


GC2 gas cowl

This ‘blocked’ cowl is only suitable for certain gas appliances with certain flues.


The chimney needs to be open (to a degree) 

Water ingress is a common problem with all chimneys and most have been open for centuries with no issues. Many people assume that sealing the chimney is the best solution to prevent water ingress. However, this can lead to other issues, such as poor ventilation, which can cause condensation and lead to further problems. A professional chimney sweep can identify the cause of the water ingress, such as a blockage or lack of ventilation, and carry out the necessary repairs to prevent further damage. 


Condensation in flue

Condensation droplets on slate blocking the flue


The chimney needs a sweep.

Stains on the ceiling or walls near the chimney can be caused by a variety of factors, including water leaks or condensation. However, one often overlooked cause is soot buildup. Soot is a fine powder that absorbs moisture, which can cause it to spread and create unsightly stains. A chimney professional can identify the cause of the stains and carry out the necessary cleaning to prevent further damage. 


clean and dirty chimney


In conclusion, while it may be tempting to call a roofer to fix a leaking chimney, it’s not recommended. Chimneys are complex structures that require knowledge and expertise to repair properly. A professional chimney sweep has the necessary training and experience to identify the problem and carry out the necessary repairs.


By hiring a chimney professional, you can ensure that your chimney is properly installed, maintained, and repaired, which will keep your home safe and comfortable for years to come. Contact us today