Chimney damp is normally caused, diagnosed and fixed in a similar way to other damp issues. Wetness around a chimney to be due to the condensation of the airborne moisture in the exhaust gases discharged by the furnace on the cold chimney walls. In the case of open or damaged chimney pots, add a chimney cowl or cap to protect the stack from letting in moisture. Look for signs of daylight coming in around the stack as well as any signs of water leakage or a build-up of hygroscopic salts; all of these point to weak or cracked lead flashing. Add cowls to your chimney pots to shield against rain and add ventilation. If it is, then this could be damaged pointing that needs repairing or possibly even open chimney pots that could do with a chimney cowl being added to prevent the rain from entering whilst allowing ventilation. If you have a wood burning or gas stove in use you have to ensure that the chimney is correctly lined. The best way to check that this is the problem is to remove a brick from the base of the chimney breast and access the inside to see if there is moisture present. Again, the way to remedy this is to replace your caps with either a chimney cowl on each of your chimney pots or a raised paving slab directly on top of your chimney stack. Try opening a small window on the windward side of the house. There are large patches of damp to the right of the chimney in the 1st and 2nd floor rooms which I assume is caused by condensation. They might have fitted a word burner without inserting the correct flue or they may have blocked up internal ventilation. Any staining caused on these patches, in most cases, is the result of soot and other particles that have also managed to creep through the wall over a period of years and this is also occasionally due to the type of room e.g. You may need the services of a roofer to do this. Birds’ nests, dead birds, dead animals, squirrel nests, twigs, leaves and debris may enter an un-capped chimney flue and accumulate at the bottom of the flue at the connection to the appliances. If this helps, fit a permanent air vent. In the event that your original chimney breast plaster survives and dries out okay through the use of ventilation, fans or a dehumidifier you may be okay to leave it without replacing it. This can lead to a degradation of the brickwork and also the mortar joints often making them more absorbent or even cracked leading to water ingress to the chimney leading to damp getting in and possibly tracking to internal surfaces. For more information one this have a look at our project on injecting a damp proof course for larger jobs and also our project on smaller chemical DPC jobs. Discussion. Do you share a chimney with your next door neighbours? I did this last summer in my own home and it stopped some leakage I was experiencing, after upgrades identical to yours. Joined: 21 Jan 2011 Messages: 2 Thanks Received: 0 Country: When i had a loft conversion done a disused flue was capped. When the materials are burnt these salts and minerals are released and settle on the inside of the chimney. This can cause water to get inside the attic or house as it runs down the brickwork. Firstly prime the area with PermaSEAL Salt Inhibitor then, whilst damp, apply two coats of PermaSEAL Tanking to the area as per the data sheet then apply a minimum 10mm coat of PermaSEAL Renovating Plaster over the surface to form a salt-resistant barrier. Damp chimney breast issues are normally caused, diagnosed and fixed in a similar manner to ordinary damp issues, but with a few subtle differences and potential causes. You should also check whether inside your roof space you can see any day light coming in around the stack – this is where the lead has failed. If you do not feel 100% confident or don’t have another person to supervise and steady the ladder, we would always recommend hiring a trained professional to carry out the investigation/survey on your behalf. The chimneys have a vent on the outside wall, and as far as I can tell the chimneys are dry inside. If your chimney is blocked up and is capped and sealed at the top, the lack of ventilation could be causing chimney condensation to build up in the void, meaning that when your house warms up, condensation collects and forms damp on the chimney breast surface. It tends to occur in very cold weather, and/or when the chimney is mostly exposed to the outside. Apply a mesh membrane to your wall to be sure that salts won’t reappear on your wall. Once you have added the salt neutralizer (and membrane if required) and allowed it to dry (following manufacturers guidelines) you can then go ahead and plaster and redecorate your chimney area. This can lead to the home owner to think the issue has not been resolved. Does your chimney breast have a DPC (Damp Proof Course – layer of slate or plastic between brick courses about 6 inches above ground level)? Pretty it isn’t. This has led to condensation. This is a relatively easy job and can be done by a DIYer. Note that the issue of rain entering chimney pots is only an issue if your chimney is not in use, as an active chimney will evaporate this moisture. Flashing will need to be repaired or replaced before damp proofing the chimney can begin. This can cause a potentially fatal amount of Carbon Monoxide to build up, so please take precautions to minimise the level of fumes present in your living space. Even if the source of the damp has been fixed these hygroscopic salts can remain in situ and with high humidity absorb moisture from the air making the surface look damp. The chimney should be vented at both the top and the bottom. One of the chimney breasts has been capped below roof level. In the room below, it is necessary to have chimney vent installed just below ceiling height. If you’re planning on using the chimney in the future, cowls are a better option. I have noticed some debris like leaves and bird feathers sitting in the clean-out in my basement. If not then this could be causing condensation to build up in the chimney stack due to cold air being trapped in the void, meaning that when your house warms up, condensation then collects to form damp on the chimney breast surface. If this is the case, the chimney stack and surrounding brickwork will need to be repointed before the damp issue can be resolved. 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