Chimney leak repair. Others failed. We Fixed It!

On May 18th, 2016 I went to Mrs. Irshad’s home in Silver Spring, MD to give her an estimate to fix a brick chimney that was leaking.  Her wood burning fireplace was working fine.  However, the brick chimney was leaking.  Before my visit, she had two other companies attempt to repair the chimney who were unsuccessful.  As she tried to contact the other companies to tell them that the chimney was still leaking, they brushed her off and never came back to address her issues.  As a result, she had paid for repairs and her chimney still leaks every time it rains.  When I arrived that day, she was very skeptical and didn’t think I would be able to help her, and I don’t blame her for feeling that since two other companies burned her before my visit. This job reminded me of a chimney repair job that we did in Potomac, MD earlier this year. 

After introducing myself I asked where the leak was coming in, and she showed me that the water would leak in her garage from the ceiling. Then I asked what the previous companies had done to try to fix the problem and let me just say that some people have no business doing this type of work. I feel bad for Mrs. Irshad because she spent her money with these companies to fix a problem and once they got paid to do the repairs which weren’t even proper fixes they never came back to help her address the leak.

The first thing I did to evaluate the leak was pulling out my hose and perform a water test on the flashing. I was already pretty sure that the flashing was the issue based on where the leak was coming from.  Leaking flashing is one of the common causes of chimney leaks. Based on the water test I was able to confirm that the leak was coming from the flashing. At that point I was 100% confident that the job required chimney flashing repair.  This also reassured Mrs. Irshad that the flashing was indeed the source of the problem and made her feel a lot more comfortable about the repairs I recommended. Here are some pictures of the job from start to finish. 

This is during the site visit where I water tested the flashing and found out it was the source of the leak. 

leaking chimney flashing

The other companies tried to fix the problem by applying silicone over the old seals on the counter flashing. 

bad chimney repair job

They also decided to put painters tape on the roof and siding and tar over it. This is just a horrible attempt at fixing the problem. It shows that this person had no idea what he was doing. The issue was actually where the arrow is, for some reason it was missing flashing in that area.  

missing chimney flashing

Once I removed the tar and blue tape, I found that the inside corner was missing flashing.  The customer told me that when they applied the tar, it slowed the leak down a little bit which makes sense since it was missing flashing. 

tar paper and base flashing installed on chimney

We removed the shingles and both the counter and base flashing. We then installed tar paper and new base flashing and shingles. 

base flashing and shingles installed

Here we have the base flashing and shingles installed. 

after chimney leak repair

This is the finished product we installed the counter flashing into the mortar joints and then sealed it. We’ve had some heavy rains since the repairs were made and Mrs. Irshad has had no leaks since!

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