Is Your Electric Fireplace Leaking? 5 Steps to Solve It
Your electric fireplace is leaking but you’re not sure where the water is coming from nor how to stop it. Not to worry, we have 5 ways for you to fix this problem up next in this article.
Here are 5 ways to solve a leaking fireplace:
- Check the status of the cap
- Fix cracks in the crown
- Repair cracks and erosion in the mortar joints
- Ensure that the bricks are in good condition
- Fix damaged flashing
When trying to solve a leak around a fireplace, you might not be sure where to begin. But almost all leaky fireplace problems originate from the same place – the roof. Check out the repairs you can do to fix your fireplace in more detail below.
The weather has been particularly wet and wild the last few weeks. The wind and rain have battered your house and your fireplace seems to have taken the brunt of the inclement weather. But how on earth did the rain get into the fireplace? And what can you do to stop the problem from getting any worse?
Coming up next, you’ll see 5 reasons why your fireplace is leaking. You’ll also find out how to identify its source and what you should do to stop it. Let’s get right to it.
Right off the bat, you need to check the status of your chimney cap. But, it is good to mention that not all chimneys are made with a cap. Why’s that? Well, a chimney cap isn’t a necessity. But have you had a lot of rain recently? Are you noticing leaks around your fireplace? If you’ve answered yes to these questions then a cap might be the solution you need.
A chimney cap works like an umbrella in the rain. Ok, so it won’t stop every drop of water from hitting you, but it will do a lot of good to keep you dry. A chimney cap prevents the rain from falling straight down the flue into your fireplace.
So, what can you do to make sure your chimney cap isn’t the root of the problem here? Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Make sure you have a chimney cap installed. If you do not have one installed, you will need to call a professional.
- Ensure the cap fits well around your chimney. This will give it the best shot at protecting your fireplace from leaks.
The next place you need to inspect is the chimney’s crown. What is the crown? It is the concrete slab that diverts water off of the top of the chimney. This slants down towards the roof. It prevents water from flooding down your flue in a rainstorm.
You need to make sure that the crown is intact. If it isn’t water will begin to leak down the flue and will end up in a puddle around your fireplace.
What can you do if you suspect that there are cracks in your crown? Here are two solutions:
- Seal the cracks in the crown. Your crown should be repairable if there aren’t too many cracks in it. A good sealant should fix the problem and you should be able to tackle this yourself.
- Replace the crown. If there are too many cracks in the crown, it may not be salvageable. It will need replacing by a professional. This is an expensive repair.
The mortar joints between your bricks are another weak link in the chain. This is because mortar is soft and water permeable. So, when it begins to erode and crack, water can get in through it. It then does not take long for the water to collect and trickle down your flue into the fireplace.
Because of the nature of the deterioration of mortar, it can sometimes be hard to detect when there is a problem. Your bricks and mortar could look fine on the outside but be rather worn and corroded on the inside.
There are also some other more obvious signs of mortar damage. Here are a few of them:
- Missing pieces
- Wear and erosion
If your mortar shows any signs of damage, it is best you get it fixed straight away. This is to prevent the problem from deteriorating and becoming more costly. Repairing mortar is a job that should only be tackled by a professional.
The bricks that make up your chimney are also an inlet for water if they are not in good stead. Bricks absorb water, so if your chimney is in a shady spot, it will not get a lot of sunlight to dry it out. If you have a particularly wet and harsh winter, the bricks could absorb so much water that it begins to drip down your flue into the fireplace.
Fixing a problem with your bricks goes hand in hand with fixing an issue with your mortar. So, if you notice damage to your bricks, it is best to have the bricks and mortar repaired by a professional. It’s really important you get this fixed as soon as possible. This will prevent it from becoming a more expensive job later down the line.
If your chimney’s flashing is damaged, it will start to leak when it rains. What is flashing? It is a barrier that goes between the chimney and the rooftop. To keep your fireplace dry, your flashing must be in good condition.
What can you do if there are cracks or tears in your flashing? Then you will need to get a professional to repair it. This could be the source of the leak and the reason there is water in your fireplace.
Some signs of leaks in your fireplace are more obvious than others. This could make it tricky for you to realize that your fireplace is leaking. If you suspect that there is a problem with yours, take a look at the following tell-tale signs. They will help you to ascertain whether your fireplace has a leak or not.
- There are puddles in your fireplace after a heavy rainstorm
- You have spalling chimney bricks. This means that the surface of the bricks has begun to break away. You might see cracks in the bricks or parts of the bricks might be missing.
- You have efflorescence on your chimney bricks. There is a white salt residue on top of your bricks. This is usually the result of condensation or dampness in your chimney.
So, your electric fireplace is leaking, but you’re not sure where from, nor how to prevent it. Fortunately, this article is full to the brim with 5 tips that you can use to locate a leak and stop it in its tracks. It has also indicated which jobs are safe for you to tackle on your own and which should be handled by a professional.
Has this article been helpful to you? Then make sure you check out some of our other articles and free guides on our website. You can even sign up to our email list.
Have a great day!