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Leaky Chimney Fix?????????


jon_ran
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I ran across something that I have never seen attempted before. I understand that this chimney is prone to water problems due to it's location in the middle of a valley, but what is everyone's opinion on this "fix". There is rain and ice shield installed under the shingles around the chimney, but I don't see how this could be expected to remain water tight. One side even slopes toward the hip, which is evident by the debris settlement. Comments and recommendations to "write this up" are appreciated. Don't pay attention to the obvious trim and siding issues. I am just looking for other professional opinions regarding the construction of this.

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The planes of the roof aren't ideal, but they certainly aren't a fatal flaw that will invariably result in leakage. If the chimney were properly flashed, it would remain watertight. The photos are small, so I can't really see whether the visible membrane was original or an attempted fix, but the obvious solution is to remove the shingles and reflash the chimney. I've seen plenty of older chimneys at the bottoms of steeply pitched roofs with no saddles/crickets that were completely watertight. Appropriate flashing = no water in the attic or house.

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Its an inherently poor design and I wouldn't be confident telling the client that it isn't going to leak. One of those "what was the architect thinking!?" Maybe it wasn't an architect but a DIY homebuilder?

Event if it was 'installed' with the best materials available, they will probably deteriorate faster than the rest of the roof.

In my area each of those valleys created by the converging rooflines would be roofed with an EPDM or some sort of bituminous material - no shingles.

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It would be my guess that there has been an addition to this home that created this condition. There is a bit of a slope on the left valley, but the right valley is flat. That being said I don't think the Ice & Rain sheild material is going to last very long being stuck against the side of the chimney chase. While there may not be any leaking taking place now, my opinion is that its a leak waiting to happen.

Robert E Lee

GENERAL Home Inspections, Inc

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Originally posted by Bain

The planes of the roof aren't ideal, but they certainly aren't a fatal flaw that will invariably result in leakage. If the chimney were properly flashed, it would remain watertight. The photos are small, so I can't really see whether the visible membrane was original or an attempted fix, but the obvious solution is to remove the shingles and reflash the chimney. I've seen plenty of older chimneys at the bottoms of steeply pitched roofs with no saddles/crickets that were completely watertight. Appropriate flashing = no water in the attic or house.

I agree that it's certainly possible to flash this abomination so that it won't leak. Ice & Water Shield is amazing stuff.

However a home inspector has no idea whether or not this was done well. We can't tell by looking at it with the shingles in place. The best we can do is look for signs of past leaks.

My advice is to tell people that the area has a higher than normal risk of leaking and that, if they buy the house, they should understand and accept this risk. If they're unwilling to accept this risk, then they should have the chimney chase moved.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi,

Jim's right. the chase is nothing but a lightweight wooden frame housing a double-walled vent. A couple of 30 degree elbows and some extra vent pipe and that chase could just have easily been placed on one of those adjacent roof planes where a nicely made copper cricket and some non-complicated flashing would have worked fine.

Look at the corrosion on the metal cap on top of the chase. It's been there long enough to have weathered the galvanizing to the point where the underlying steel is exposed to moisture and is beginning to rust, so it's been like this for a while. If there aren't any signs of leaks, this is one of those things where they've either got to accept it or decide to do something about it, but there's no way that you should assume any liability for it. Tell them that, because you can't tell how it's been detailed beneath the cover, there's no way that you'll accept liability for it and that you intend to state that clearly in your report, regardless of what they decide.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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