Every year, during May and moving through June, (the rainiest month of the year in Kansas City), we start getting calls from customers experiencing leaky problems, and we wonder how much rain can a leaky chimney take?

The answer is two-fold, a chimney can survive all the rain that falls on your roof, but the real question is how much water damage are you willing to let happen to the rest of your home before taking action to stop it?

Our goal is to help spread knowledge to homeowners regarding the damage that storms and damp, rainy conditions can cause your home and property via leaks from the roof and chimney. In this post, we discuss the Cycle of Water Damage in a Leaky Chimney and how to know if you have a leak.

How to Check for Indoor Signs of a Leak Problem

Discover the three easiest ways to tell if you have a leak without even needing to go outside. Anyone can do these quicks checks from the comfort of their living room (or in whatever room your fireplace is located)!

Grab a flashlight and look inside your fireplace and ask yourself the following questions:

#1: Is your fireplace dripping water? If you’ve ever noticed any drips or what looks like condensation inside your firebox, that should not happen and is a sign of a problem.

#2: Does your fireplace room smell musty or like a damp campfire? Odor like this is not a good sign and is a major identifier to underlying water issues. (At this stage, it’s likely been flying under the radar for quite some time and will only get worse).

#3: Do you see any white, chalky residue on the inside of your fireplace? This is a problem called efflorescence and you can try to remove it.

After you followed all the steps. If your answers to any of those questions were true, chances are high you’ve got a leaky situation.

While these are not the only ways to look for leaks, they are certainly the easiest and most accessible to the average homeowner. Almost anyone can look at these three indoor items (inside a firebox) and without much effort, get a good idea of whether it’s time to call for a more thorough inspection of your system, including the roof and exterior structures. 

Learn more about common symptoms and solutions on our service page.

Chimney Leaks Can Cause Water Stains on Ceilings

Chimney Leaks Can Cause Water Stains on Ceilings

Fireplace Leaking from Chimney

Fireplace leaks from chimney and drips water.

Brick Chimney Efflorescence

White stuff on your fireplace is a sign you have a leak.

Continue reading to gain an overall understanding of how water damages happen and why the cycle will repeat itself year after year until fixed.

Cycle of Damage in a Leaky Chimney:

If you’ve ever seen a moving river or any body of water, then you know once the water starts flowing into a new place, it’s hard if not impossible to make it stop. Let’s dive a little deeper into the concept of household water entry by reviewing this helpful infographic provided by our friends at ChimneySaver.

– Click to Enlarge – 

Click to learn about leaky chimneys

Source/Image Credit: Chimney Saver

6-Entry Points Contribute to Cycle of Water Damage

Listed as shown in the ChimneySaver Infographic above:


  1. The crown is your chimney’s first line of defense, against weather and seasonal elements. A cracked or damaged crown allows water to enter and begins a cycle of deterioration.
  2. An application of CrownCoat or CrownSeal fills open chimney cracks and coats the entire chimney crown with a most durable and watertight membrane.
  3. Water absorbed through the brick and mortar can cause brick delamination or spalling, and be channeled into the interior of your house.
  4. ChimneySaver Water Repellent stops the water’s absorption and its detrimental effects. It will not change the appearance of your chimney, but help maintain it longer.
  5. Loose, damaged, or missing flashing is a major source of water penetration and the damage that results.
  6. FlashSeal is like slipping a rubber boot over the base of your chimney, eliminating water and moisture from getting inside and causing damages to your home.

“When water penetration is left unchecked it causes EXPENSIVE & EXTENSIVE damage.”

Spalling chimney with efflorescence

Spalling and efflorescence is caused by water.

Wood rot around a leaky stucco chimney due to water damage

Rotting wood beneath stucco due to water.

Water Leaks through Chimneys without Caps

No cap equals a water leak every time, quaranteed!

Stop your leaky chimney BEFORE it starts.

A Certified Full Service Chimney™ Technician can help with a crown sealer product application, often at our very first appointment.  Together we will review the condition of your system and address any other concerns or repairs to help you stop leaks before they start. Contact our team today at 913-642-6171.

Already aware of your water problem? DO NOT WAIT.

Call 913-642-6171 before it’s too late.

The sooner the problem is addressed, the less damage is done to your chimney… and your pocketbook! Let our Certified Technicians inspect the unit inside and out. We can help solve a leaky chimney problem, often in as little as one day (especially when our clients call at the first sign of water). 

Serving Johnson County and the Greater Kansas City Area since 1987!

If you’re outside our service area, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America Homeowners Resources page to Search for a Sweep in your area.

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*Revised original post on May 20, 2021

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