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When It Rains....It Waterfalls Down Fireplace Wall Inside! HELP!

When It Rains....It Waterfalls Down Fireplace Wall Inside! HELP!

Old 09-26-05, 07:46 PM
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When It Rains....It Waterfalls Down Fireplace Wall Inside! HELP!

My house has a natural (lannon stone) fireplace about 25 yrs old. The roof was replaced a year ago and included new flashing, ice&water guard, caulking, gutters and downspouts.

When it rains, water somehow gets inside the house and appears where the fireplace masonry meets the cathedral (cedar) celing. The water then proceeds to form a waterfall as it makes its way down the lannon stone to the mantel.

Any ideas how the water is getting in and how to fix the problem?
Any insight is appreciated....

Old 09-26-05, 07:58 PM
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When It Rains....It Waterfalls Down Fireplace Wall Inside! HELP!

THe first thing that comes to mind is improper flashing, since it did not do this before the roof and flashing.

Take a good look at the flashing for the chimney and pay particular the flashing and construction of the cricket. Most Lannon stone fireplaces seem to be quite wide to show off the stone. Wider chimneys should have a cricket to prevent water from backing up the roof. This could be case of water running uphill and leaking in.

Have you contacted the contractor yet?

Old 09-27-05, 05:16 AM
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It DOES sound like a flashing problem... the top edges of the step flashing, in particular. Its too much of a coincidence if your chimney started leaking after the house was roofed. The roofers screwed something up.

Perhaps a the 2nd thing that comes to mind, though is the top of the chimney. Examine the cement on top of the chimney (if it has a cap) and see if there's a large gap around the tile chimney sleeve, if there are obvious cracks in the cap, (or large cracks in the mortar between the stones) or if the cement has become eroded around the edge of the cap.
Old 09-27-05, 07:27 PM
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Hello! Thanks for your expertise! I guess I should have been clearer and stated that the water problem was there before the roof was replaced and we thought that the new roof, flashing etc would take care of it.

There was no contractor involved....everything was done by a family friend who has done at least 50 roofs for other people so I trust that he knew what he was doing.

As far as I know, there aren't any masonry issues where the water could be getting in.

Any more ideas?! Thanks!
Old 09-27-05, 07:42 PM
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I examined a chimney for a woman this week. She had the exact problem you are referring to- water leaking inside her home, getting on her cathedral ceiling woodwork and fireplace woodwork.

The only 2 logical things it could be are:

1). the flashings where the roof meets the chimney and the counterflashings which are set in the mortar

2). a leak around the mortar on top of the chimney.

In the woman's case I referred to earlier, her chimney cap was completely eroded, cracked, and the trapped water had obviously weakened the mortar, eating out the lime in the mortar. Many of her bricks had "popped" due to the moisture inside the chimney freezing in the wintertime. There was evidence of water streaming out of these cracks in the brick and mortar lines, because the lime deposits were obvious. Unfortunately, neither her roofer nor any of the other previous contractors she had look at the roof had been able to figure it out. Apparently none of them were bright enough to look on top of the chimney, or observe the lime deposits and put two and two together. Her chimney is pretty much ruined now, and a mason will have to come out and rebuild it. All because no one looked at the cap.

Moral of the story: have you actually looked at the top of the chimney, or taken a good look at the flashing as has been suggested? All it takes for water to get in is a small crack around a tile chimney insert, and water will pour in. All it takes is a few minutes to get up there and look, and all it takes to fix it is a bead of caulk. As an additional idea for finding the leak, you should take a hose on the roof and let in run in certain locations for a period of time, to try and recreate the leak. Someone inside the attic should be able to pinpoint exactly where the water is coming in at- even past water stains. Slowly moving the hose along the chimney flashings ought to reveal something. If it doesn't, keep looking. Your best evidence will be in the attic before you even get out the hose.
Old 01-05-13, 06:10 AM
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Hi. I just signed up for this forum and I realize that these posts are very old, however, in doing a search for info re: applying flashing to a lannon stone chimney, this site popped up and you guys are discussing my exact situation. I inherited a 50 year old home, built by my parents, with a lannon stone chimney/fireplace, which remember always leaking, though in very small amounts initially. At this point in time, I, also, get rivers of water cascading down the fireplace. I have had a company in doing some work on the chimney, none of which stopped the water coming down, and, which, seems to have made it worse.
The last thing done was to replace the flashing, which was replaced only 2 years ago when a new roof was installed. This is a huge fireplace on the inside, which takes up an entire wall in the living room, and which has a backside of equal size providing a wall to the hallway leading to the garage stairs.
Since the new flashing was installed, the backside of the fireplace, which never leaked before, is now leaking as badly as the front of the fireplace.
I should mention that there are spots, which I pointed out to the current company working on the leaks (not the company which installed the roof 2 years ago), which leak water - not down the fireplace - but coming out from the stone. This was pointed out, but ignored.
When the gentleman came over after the last substantial rainfall and saw that the back of the fireplace was now leaking (though he claimed it had nothing to do with the new flashing just installed by his company) the fellow with him who did some masonry work on the fireplace said I now needed to cover over the entire chimney, recommending cultured stone.
I called in someone else to do an assessment and will get other opinions, but what this gentleman said, after viewing the new flashing, was that the flasing needed to actually be set INTO the stone (given it's hugely varying texture), not on top of the stone as was recently done, and which was done when the house was built and is probably why it has always leaked.
I apologize for this lengthy post, but I am trying to work this out. Is it in fact correct that the lannon stone on the chimney should have been cut back to be more consistent in it's texture, and then a "self" essentially should have been cut into the stone and the flashing should have been set INTO the stone as opposed to ON TOP of the stone?
This has grown into a huge problem and I can't even sell this home without solving it ASAP, but I am getting conflicting advice and I know nothing about chimneys.
Any advice which can be offered will be appreciated more than you can know.

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