Advice - Damp Stucco Surrounding Chimney

I have an ongoing issue with moisture appearing on the stucco surrounding my stone chimney during rain. I have had the following done over the past two years:

  1. Entire chimney repointed (included new crown)
  2. New flashing around entire chimney
  3. Steel flue liner installed and capped
  4. Entire chimney sealed with siloxane sealent

At some point during the above work being completed we began having damp spots appear on the stucco surrounding the chimney. The inside is completely dry, although it did leak prior to the flashing be redone. At one point I took off the soffit to the left of the chimney and it and the roof above it going against the chimney were dry with no evidence of water stains. So I have to think that the flashing is not the problem since there is no water visible inside.

The various contractors who completed the work listed above all point to the problem being caused by the work that they did not complete. So I’m at a loss here and would greatly appreciate any advice/opinions. I have additional pictures of just about everything if needed.

Pic of the roof where it meets the chimney from the top also question?

Leak in every rain or just heavy rain?

I could speculate but take the pic and then I’ll tell you my best assesment! make sure all 3 sides of chimney are visible!

The amount of rain does not appear to matter, although the harder and longer it rains the larger and more dark the stains become.

Here are some pictures of the flashing. I don’t have a great one of the top side right now, but there is no cricket as you can see. These pictures were taken over the summer prior to the sealing and some patchwork on any cracks since the initial pointing.

Thanks for your time.

I’ll need a pic of the current flashing situation but I think you need to completely remove roofing and flashings, and install all new counter flashing run from bottom to top over lapping a skirt if you will around chimney a step type tin shingle flashing does not work for these stones. Before installing roof flashings and shingles. You will have to cut through your stonework to the substrate and slide the flashing z-bar behind the stonework. If they did not do this it could be the problem! Also a chimney saddle email me and I can send you a form for your contractor unless you have the measurements of your chimney?

Try to take a larger pic from the front of the house also so I can see the entire House! I mean please :slight_smile: Just for perspective.

The pictures above are of the current flashing.

If there was an issue with the flashing wouldn’t I see some water or something inside the attic? It also seems odd to me that on the right side of the chimney the water stains seem to appear away from the chimney and then work their way towards it.

I’m not familiar with what you described in terms of the skirt. It sounds similar to what I already have which is traditional counter flashing (copper) overlaying step flashing (aluminum). The step flashing might not be clearly visible in the pictures above, but it is there.

I don’t have a updated picture from the front of the house. I’ll take that and post it tomorrow.

Thank you again for your opinion.

OK then chimney saddle would be where I would start at the very least! But the way stated above is what I would do on my own house!

My guess would be a leaking chimney/roof with the water running down the inside of the exterior wall.

Bad Flashing. no wings at back pan, no overlap of first step flashing over front pan.
on second look. NO FRONT PAN…ugh…
if front pan is under the shingle, I would say water is running off front of chimney and getting in seam on second row down from chimney.
Step flashing barely goes up side of chimney where counterflashing lap (barely)
corners are most likely the issue, but nothing about that flash job looks good. Looks like old flashing painted. (picture #30) is a bad picture but good example of what I am talking about.
Have it redone by someone who knows what they are doing.


I’ll figure out why I can’t upload pics in here but 4 now bangon is close enough, but I do question using the step flashing type of counterflashing, with these stones. I am not sure they are waterproof themselfs? I was thinking z-bar to be safe!

From this pic it dont look like its leaking from chimney…unless its traveling uphill…got any pics of above the chimney to the ridge line?

From what I can see, I would say your problem stems from the following:

  1. The re-pointing/tuck-pointing looks like crap;

  2. Up-slope side of chimney doesn’t appear to have any kind of saddle or diverter; and

  3. Mortar above counterflashing makes it appear the counterflashing was installed into the stone chimney, but not behind the building wrap/felt paper.

Now, better photos both close-up and overviews would help confirm some of what I think I saw, but until then those are the things I would look into.

What is the back pan? 90 pound or metal? or what?..

Thanks for all the opinions. Greatly appreciated.

Here are some requested pictures:

Full house:

Close-up of top flashing:

Slope above chimney; shingles are over cedar shakes:

I’m going to have to concur with Cerberus point 3. I think that the counter flashing is not properly installed behind the building paper on the chimney chase. The thing that makes me think this is the fact that you are getting the same stain on the down slope side of the chimney as well. The mortar sealing up the top of the flashing is not waterproof and could be allowing water to soak through it and behind the flashing as it runs down the stone face of the chimney chase. I’ve also got to agree with everyone else, there are a host of other issues around that chase that if built correctly would have prevented some headaches.

Wow!I hope there is metal under that shingle behind your chimney.A shingle back pan… :frowning:

The above photo shows what is likely your problem. There should be a saddle (or at least a diverter) and metal flashing on backside of chimney. It still looks like the flashing work was done after the chimney was installed, which is why the mortar above the metal flashing looks like crap. I’m afraid you need to have someone cut into your chimney and properly flash the roof before resetting the stone around base of chimney at roof level. If you let this problem continue, you will soon have damage to your stucco that needs repair (if you don’t already). In fact, I’d be surprised if you aren’t growing mold in your wall cavity, though you may not know it unless you are sensitive to mold.

Yes, I definitely need a new roof. I was just hoping to buy some time to save up and cover the cost. Only one estimate from a “high-end” roofer so far, but it was way beyond my budget. I’m lining up some additional estimates next week.

One comment that is not clear to me is “counter flashing is not properly installed behind the building paper on the chimney chase”. I don’t understand how this works. My house is 90 years old and that is the original chimney. To my knowledge it is just stone all the way through or at least that is how it appears to me from inside the attic. Should there be some type of liner barrier within the chimney or is this referring to something that is on the roof and then curves up the side of the chimney, like the tar paper?

Thanks again for all of the feedback; this is exactly what I was looking for.

Cerberus- The mortar at top of the chimney was extremely deteriorated when we bought the house, so we had the entire chimney repointed. The flashing was not done at this time and had I known better I would have had the flashing replaced then as well. A few months after the repointing the flashing was leaking through to the attic and was replaced. The old flashing was covered in several layers of roof tar. The roofer ripped all of that off and replaced it with what is in my pictures. He then did the mortar work around the top of the flashing, not the original mason who pointed the rest of the chimney.

I had the roofer out several months ago to take a look at the wet stucco and the flashing job. According to him everything looks good (a cricket was not necessary) and the problem is the water getting through the stone and mortar. This guy came pretty highly recommended, so obviously I am disappointed in the result of his work; it was not a cheap job.

Here is my 2 cents, The Chimney flashing is all wrong needs to be redone with new like everyone says. But know one has addressed the staining above the chimney and by the view of the “full house photo” it seems to go all the way up to the ridge. On one of the pictures the shingles are curved upward especially more at the top end it appears not to have any rake starter and also its nailed over wood shingles and I am guessing no felt which makes it worse for leaks. I have seen water, especially with wind, run down and under the shingles at the rakes it hits the outside wall and run down thats why his not seeing any water in the attic above the chimney. That looks like a close soffit. Open a section up to see if there is any water stains or evidence of a leak. My Guess is yes

Good Luck.