need solution to roof leak around chimney

Old 11-01-19, 04:52 PM
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need solution to roof leak around chimney

My son owns a rental property that has a serious leak issue around the chimney. The house was built in the 1920s and originally had a coal furnace. My son bought the house in 2005, as I recall. The subject chimney runs up the wall on the west side of this 2-story house; it goes up along a bedroom wall and along/within a closet in the room. Some leakage was going on when my son purchased the house but became progressively worse as time passed. The leaking was, and is, causing damage to the old plastered walls up near the ceiling in the bedroom. About 2 -3 years ago, as I recall, my son paid a contractor to make a change in how the roof is configured around the chimney. That seemed to improve the situation for awhile but the leakage has returned and seems even a little worse than it was before the roof work was done. My son called the contactor 2 months or so ago and asked them to come out and inspect the work they had done. They acknowledged that a problem, which was was supposed to be aleviated still exists. At this point, I don't know whether that contractor is going to provide a remedy. When the guy from the contractor came out and inspected (climbed up on roof, went into attic, and into bedroom), he mentioned some apparent need for some tuckpointing on the chimney and mentioned the possiblity of some issues with the cap(s) on top of the chimney, but that was about the extent of his assessment.

I've been thinking about the options/alternatives for a remedy. A permanent and effective solution is really needed. The furnace currently installed is a gas furnace which vents through a PVC pipe that runs along the basesment ceiling and out the basement wall on the east side of the house. So, the chimney is not needed for furnace venting. The gas water heater does vent into the chimney. I believe that could be changed so that a pipe for the venting of the water heater could run all the way up to, and through, the roof. Am I correct in my thinking about this?

And, I am wondering whether the portion of the chimney extending above the roof could be removed, just down to attic floor level, and then have only a vent pipe for the water heater extending on top of the roof? Am I correct is my thinking about this? And, if so, could the vent pipe for the water heater, from basement to roof, go up through the old chimney?

Last edited by dderolph; 11-01-19 at 04:59 PM. Reason: minor corrections
Old 11-02-19, 04:28 AM
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Pictures of the problem area on the roof would be a big help.
Old 11-02-19, 08:04 AM
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I had the same issue for a house I recently purchased - along with the chimney above the roof failing (and leaning severely).

Had a chimney guy come in and take down the chimney to just below the roofline, rebuild it about 12" above the roofline, then install a chimney liner for the furnace/water heater. The liner/vent continued up to the required height.

Then had a roofer come in and fix the roof around the newly fixed chimney.

Overall it sounds like your roofer didn't do a good job. Tuck pointing the chimney might help, but if you're having significant leakage, it's probably not the chimney, but the flashing between the chimney and roof - the roofer's job.

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