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Question DetailsAsked on 6/17/2014

I get water in the basement by the chimney. Had a roofing company out..they couldn't find where it was coming in fr

They did some patching and sealing still getting water in the basement.the basement has been waterproofed...

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

These things are hard to diagnose without seeing the roof and chimney first hand. My best bet would be a bad chimney wash or the concrete cap put on the top of the chimney to slope the top from the flue pipes to the edges of the chimney. It could also be bad flashing on the chimney.


Answered 4 years ago by ContractorDon


Have you lost your chimney cap - could be rainwater coming down chimney, into or around firebox, and coming out at base of chimney when it hits the chimney concrete foundation.

Can you check in attic for wet spots on underside of sheathing around chimney, or wetness/staining down the brick ? That could show source if from roof.

In basement, look for effloresence (lime buildup) or rusty stains on concrete slab leading toward chimney, or on outside of chimney showing where water has run.

In firebox, look kfor wster staining coming down chimney or wetness in firebox - if wet there, may be coming down brick to basement, expecially if you have an ash chute. If ash chute, check in there for water - may be leaking out basement ash cleanout bin door.

Dry wet area all out with a fan during non-rainy time, then do one of two things - wait till it rains, or use a hose and run slowly up the outside of the chimney, spraying it heavily, till you see the leak start. Bear in mind leak will pop out quite a while after you wet an area, so you probably have to wet for 5 minutes or so at one zone, wait 15 minutes and check for leak, then move up higher. Check along height of chimney in the house for wet spots or mold on the adjacent drywall that could indicate that leak is at or above that point. Check at leak are to see if coming down brick, out of bottom of brick from inside chimney, or from concrete up around chimney foundation.

Could be from several sources - missing or rusted through chimney cap, cracked/leaking chimney crown (the grout domed cap on top of the chimney [VERY common source], leaky or rusted through roof flashing around the chimney [quite common but roofer saw nothing there], deteriorated/missing grout or missing/cracked bricks on chimney letting rain in [unusual to get visible leak through this small a crack unless totally missing with gap], leak at siding interface like missing/rusted flashing or caulk, roof leak near chimney running down sheathing till it hits chimney, then down it.

Any other questions or need additional help, use the Answer This Question button right under your question to reply or send photos, to keep everything in the same thread.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


To readers here: Nita posted a new related question as a new question, asking who the best person to investigate her leak would be. Here is the answer I posted to that new question (in quotes), plus new suggestions after the ===== line.

'Nita - assuming this relates to your prior question about leak around chimney,

In future, when you answer a responder or provide more info or photos or such, use the Answer This Question button right below your question - that way all questioner and answerer posts stay in the same "thread" so everyone can see the whole of the conversation and all responses in one place.

Therefore, to keep the content all one place, I am going to respond to your question about who would be the best to investigate the water in the basement problem at your original question location here - '


If you can check out the prior locations and possible sources in my prior response it would help a lot - or respond back with pictures if not.

If not physically able to check out any of the possibles I mentioned, then to be perfectly honest, I would call the following, to answer your question:

1) if wet all the time, rain or shine, and wet anywhere near or above basement ceiling level, then a plumber, because probably a pipe leak.

2) if wet only in rains and shortly thereafter and dries up rest of time, then if it looks like it is coming in along or running down the chimney at all then I would call a Chimney Sweep to track any leakage down the chimney, repair if chimney problem or identify inflow source if not, in which case he should be able to tell you if it is a roof flashing issue (then Roofer) or Siding flashing/seal problem (then Siding Contractor).

3) if looks like it is coming up from slab cracks or edge or around chimney base and the chimney itself appears dry except for maybe an inch or so of wicking up fronm the floor, then Basement Waterproofing contractor seems like the best bet. You can usually determine if coming down chimney because generally there will be rusty or white lime staining along the sides of the leak even if not currently wet.

4) One other possibility is to have someone try to track the leak for you regardless of contractor ability - Handyman, even friendly neighbor who is house handy - to try to limit the possibilities of where it is coming from.

5) If you can check out possibilities I previously mentioned as much as possible and report back, hopefully with a couple of photos of any wet spots or staining AND one or two general shots of basement walls and floor, then we can probably help a lot more before you possibly get into a costly job you may not need. Would really like to help you out and avoid unnecessary costs here.

6) Also, reply back if you have an interior or exterior french drain (if you know) and if it is flowing at same time (or always), and also if you have a sump pump and whether it runs a lot or only during rains.

7) Also, I don't believe you said if only happens when and immediately after rains, or then and for some time thereafter like days, or all the time (or only seasonally). Which it is makes a big difference as first case means probably a cap or flashing leak along chimney or cracked chimney itself, second case makes it sound like rising groundwater from rain, third could be plumbing leak or perennially high groundwater.

8) Also, if not all the time, important if starts shortly after rain starts, or only after many hours of rain. First would normally indicate rainwater leaking in, second would typically be rising groundwater seeping in.

To make it simpler, reply by the above numbers if easier, to reduce explanation as to what you are talking about.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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