Leak around chimney

I am looking into purchasing a 41 year old home, but during the inspection I noticed a lot of water coming in around the chimney. It rained really hard that day, and it it ran down the entire chimney to the garage floor. It destroyed the Sheetrock in its way, and I see white mold on the plywood (the roof) around the chimney. The inspector said it’s not a big problem, but I’m not so sure. They just had a second layer roof put on 1 year ago. The inspector said the tar around the flashing looked great, and if he hadn’t seen the leak from the inside of the house he never would have known.

I’m positive the sellers won’t fix it (we’re going to ask them tomorrow), so I was wondering if this is something that can wait the 2-3 month closing process? Or should this be fixed immediately?

Thanks for your help/advice :slight_smile:

I think I’d get another inspector.

problem 1)…it leaks
2) It leaks after new roof
3) Only tar on the chimney and it still leaks
4) Inspector says …it is not a problem…but it leaks

If you really want the home… expect to remove both layers of shingles around the chimney to repair/replace affected substrate (deck). Remove all the mastic on the chimney and install new counter flashing.

It is going to cost you, might be a bargaining chip for selling reduced price?

[quote=“dstew66”]

I think I’d get another inspector.[/quote]

ditto, saying flashing looks good when its tared… :roll: …get a roof inspector.

The inspector said it wasn’t a “big” problem, he said all that had to be replaced was the flashing. I’m just skeptical because* little *things can become big problems. I know it has to be fixed, but is this something that can wait the 2-3 month closing process though?

its leaking…i wouldnt wait 2-3 months…

It has likely been leaking for quite some time already. How long is anyone’s guess. The existence of the mold would indicate that it is not a recent development. It seems like the damage is already done. How much more damage is possible if it does leak? If it doesn’t rain for the next 3 months, not a problem. If it does, moisture will continue to penetrate until it is repaired. More moisture = more mold potential. If it is reaching the basement then it is also making it through the floor. Is this being damaged also?

You should also ask the condition of the mortar in the bricks. If the mortar is cracked and deteriorating that will need to be fixed also or it will be pointless to fix the flashing. The water can penetrate through the cracks in the mortar and get behind the flashing.

I wouldn’t put too much faith in the opinion of an inspector that says “the tar around the flashing looks great.” He should have told you “that chimney is not done properly and could be an issue.”

I would recommend you call a reputable roofing contractor in your area and have him look at it and give you an assessment and a cost of repair. Let him know the circumstances and offer to pay him for his time. I know I am not too keen on going out on roof inspections for potential buyers or realtors. The red flag question is “do you give free estimates?” They are usually just using me for bargaining power.

tar around a chimney is a problem. bad inspector.

[quote=“dstew66”]It has likely been leaking for quite some time already. How long is anyone’s guess. The existence of the mold would indicate that it is not a recent development. It seems like the damage is already done. How much more damage is possible if it does leak? If it doesn’t rain for the next 3 months, not a problem. If it does, moisture will continue to penetrate until it is repaired. More moisture = more mold potential. If it is reaching the basement then it is also making it through the floor. Is this being damaged also?

You should also ask the condition of the mortar in the bricks. If the mortar is cracked and deteriorating that will need to be fixed also or it will be pointless to fix the flashing. The water can penetrate through the cracks in the mortar and get behind the flashing.

I wouldn’t put too much faith in the opinion of an inspector that says “the tar around the flashing looks great.” He should have told you “that chimney is not done properly and could be an issue.”

I would recommend you call a reputable roofing contractor in your area and have him look at it and give you an assessment and a cost of repair. Let him know the circumstances and offer to pay him for his time. I know I am not too keen on going out on roof inspections for potential buyers or realtors. The red flag question is “do you give free estimates?” They are usually just using me for bargaining power.[/quote]

The water is running down the chimney into the garage, so its not going into the basement. I finally got the official inspection report, and it doesn’t say anywhere that the chimney leak is “not a big deal” (I guess he had a change of heart). It just says “The roof leak at the center chimney should be repaired by a licensed roofer.”

The sellers have agreed to fix the problem. I was going to attach some pictures I took, but since I’m a new member I’m not allowed too. So I made an album and added the link below… just replace the {DOT} with a period. I added some comments below each pic. Let me know your opinions.

s1197.photobucket{DOT}com/albums/aa439/Avinater/Chimney%20Leak/

This one looks like it has a crack on the right hand side right at the roof line.

seriously? ugh

almost to the point i would want to knock it down, and build a new one. save headaches in the future. That thing is going to be a problem.

its a shame too. some people just dont care, or are clueless. or both.

Front corners open, top corners buried under shingles forcing water under the shingles.
The brickwork looks bad too.
Definitely needs to be re-pointed and flashed by a roofer. Not by the ones that worked on it before. They were nailers, not roofers.

Sometimes when People put tar on a chimney like this, you may not be able to tell where the water is actually entering.

I think your problem exist near the deck…particularly the corners and/or behind the chimney. I typically install a back pan behind the chimney and let it extend 3 inches past the corners and leave a 3-4 inch gap (no shingle) behind the chimney to allow for a little ponding before it drains out right and left

But because they slapped tar at a higher point…might as well make sure everything is pulled and re-done.

You might have more porblems in the future because I don’t think the HO’s will follow through with the best repair. They put a 2nd layer instead of ripping everything off just to get it ready to sell…IMO…

[quote=“Roofer Gee”]…
You might have more porblems in the future because I don’t think the HO’s will follow through with the best repair. They put a 2nd layer instead of ripping everything off just to get it ready to sell…IMO…[/quote]

I agree, they will probably just get the same guy who messed it up the first time. I’m hoping for the best, but I’m going to fight for it. I’ll keep you guys updated. Thanks for all the advice btw, I learned a lot :slight_smile:

Tear it off, and tell them to make it look more like this:

Hey guys, I wanted to update you on how its going so far. I stopped by and saw that they “repaired” the leak around the chimney. I haven’t heard officially if this is all they are going to do or not, but it looks like the homeowner just slapped some tar on it himself. Take a look: (replace the {DOT} with a period)

s1197.photobucket**{DOT}**com/albums/aa439/Avinater/Chimney%20Leak/?action=view&current=shottyrepair.jpg

From a professional roofers point of view, whats a good reason to have it re-flashed? I’m sure they are just going to say the tar is adequate enough, so I would like to have an answer to why re-flashing is better. How long will tar last? Is it possible that water is getting in from other places that weren’t tared?

I’m not a roofer, but recently got my home inspectors license. From what I’ve learned in class and other roofing and chimney contractors is that tar is nothing more than a band-aid. A cheap temporary fix. It may buy you a year, maybe two tops before it deteriorates and starts leaking again…

How about because RE-FLASHING is the RITE WAY!

You need to get it reflashed. I only use cement when I HAVE to make an overnight repair because that’s all it’s good for.

Neat job Agape, but you’re supposed to leave some metal showing on the top corners. An open area for the free flow of water instead of forcing it under the shingles.

I recently found out that the entire roof has the original plywood with one layer of shingles then another layer of plywood with shingles on top of that.

Is it even possible to re-flash at this point without ripping up the entire roof around the chimney?

I attached a link to picture as it may come off confusing.

s1197.photobucket{DOT}com/albums/aa439/Avinater/Shingles/

Replace the {DOT} with a period.

Thanks!