A large portion of your chimney is outside of your home. This means that your chimney is constantly exposed to the elements. Constant exposure to snow, rain, and ice means that your chimney’s structure may be starting to deteriorate, causing water to leak into your home. Water leaks can cause all sorts of issues ranging from rotting wood, water stained walls, formidable chimney odor, and rusting dampers. Discovering a leaking chimney early before it becomes a larger issue can help save a lot of money and headaches down the road.

What Causes Chimney Leaks?

There are a lot of potential reasons your chimney might be leaking. Below are a few of the most common reasons that your chimney leaks.

Faulty/Missing Chimney Cap

A chimney cap is the first line of defense against moisture for your chimney. Basically, it protects chimney from rain and snow falling inside of it. If rain or snow is allowed inside your chimney, it can mix with soot and creosote, creating an unpleasant odor. Moisture can also seep through tiny cracks in your chimney’s masonry. This causes water stains on adjacent ceilings and walls and also causing your home’s wooden framework to rot.


Flashing is the metal strips that line the area where the chimney intersects the roof. Over the years, flashing may loosen, rust, or even become dislodged. When this happens, there is nothing to prevent water from entering the seams where your chimney exits your home causing water to run down the outside of your chimney. Any part of your home adjacent to the outside of your home is then susceptible to water damage.


Condensation can occur on walls adjacent to chimneys when there is a difference in temperature between the chimney and adjacent rooms. This usually occurs when a fire is started in a chimney that isn’t lined well. Condensation can cause wall and ceiling stains as well as cause wallpaper to peel off.

Remember, any time that you have a leaky chimney, the most important thing to do is contact a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician right away. If you notice any symptoms of a leaky chimney, don’t hesitate to call TN Chimney & Home at (865) 922-2262 or schedule an appointment online today. At TN Chimney & Home, our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will help identify and remedy any chimney leaks that you may be experiencing.