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-   -   Damp wall and ceiling near chimney (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f17/damp-wall-ceiling-near-chimney-9058/)

kat33 04-16-2010 09:07 PM

Damp wall and ceiling near chimney
 
My house is 110 years old with plaster and lathe walls. The chimney sits in interior walls. Four years ago, the ceiling cracked and fell down in about a 12 inch diameter circle near the chimney. The surrounding ceiling and wall (the wall that is the chimney) is appears to sweat. It never gets soaking wet and actually runs down the wall though it will occassionally bead up. When the moisture does bead up, it has almost a sticky consistency. This only happens after it rains. Between rains, it dries up. We have spent thousands with roofing contractors who want to keep replacing the same shingles and flashing. We have had the chimney repointed. We have been told the liner in the chimney is fine, and the chimney is capped. The problem continues. We have removed the drywall from the attic around the chimney, but do not see any dampness on the roof or chimney. The roof boards and the chimney in the attic continue to be dry. We removed a considerable portion of the ceiling plaster to ensure that we removed anything that was damp, and then left the exposed ceiling open for almost two months so that the ceiling could dry out. We are frustrated to no end and don't know what to do. We thought the problem was resolved with the last roofer, and have spent hours replastering the ceiling, only to find damp spots again.

Any help or suggestions would be very much appreciated. Also, does any one have any suggestions on the type of person to call? Roofers have gotten us nowhere. We frustrated and at our wits end with this problem.

oldognewtrick 04-16-2010 09:37 PM

Kat, first welcome to House Repair Talk. The problem you are describing sounds a lot like the masonry chimney wicking water. We see this condition a lot. There is a fix, using a masonry water proofer. We have used a product called Siloxane to seal problematic chimneys with success. It is a clear sealer that applies with a garden type sprayer.

If possible post a picture of the chimney that extends past the slope of your roof.

Make sure that the chimney cap is intake, the brick are not cracked and you have no missing mortar.

Bud Cline 04-17-2010 12:14 PM

I would agree with o/n on the chimney itself leaking but one other issue does come to mind.

A photo of the chimney and its relation to the roof would be dandy.

If the backside of your chimney, where it meets the slope of the roof is nothing more than the obvious and simple angles meeting, then that area is a notorious troublemaker. Depending on how the chimney is flashed it may still leak under certain conditions and the leak-spot could be undetectable from the top-side.

If you haven't already added one a "chimney cricket" may be in order.:)

oldognewtrick 04-17-2010 01:04 PM

My thoughts exactly Bud, I believe codes require any chimney chase over 30" to have a cricket behind it. Pics are always nice to see potential problems.

stuart45 04-17-2010 05:26 PM

News | Page-13 - Sheet Lead Products
Fitting a lead tray can often solve damp problems.

kat33 04-20-2010 07:04 AM

I'm working on a picture - I've been working woefully long hours and daylight hasn't been available! Thanks and I'll post this weekend.

rbhous 05-05-2010 06:10 PM

Similar issue around chimney on outside wall
 
Guys, I have the exact some problem (and frustrations) except my water problem is around the chimney on the outside wall. I have had the top portion above the roof line sealed, mortar is in good and and have a chimeny cricket to divert the water and still it is leaking/seeping. Could something as simple as sealing it really solve the problem. That is great it does. Also, the area that is moist is extensive starting on the second floor and going to the first floor. Thanks, for any help Brian

oldognewtrick 05-05-2010 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rbhous (Post 44521)
Guys, I have the exact some problem (and frustrations) except my water problem is around the chimney on the outside wall. I have had the top portion above the roof line sealed, mortar is in good and and have a chimney cricket to divert the water and still it is leaking/seeping. Could something as simple as sealing it really solve the problem. That is great it does. Also, the area that is moist is extensive starting on the second floor and going to the first floor. Thanks, for any help Brian

Yes, something as simple as sealing the chase will stop water absorption. I've been to 14 houses this week alone with the same problem. Also make sure the cap of the chimney is not a problem.

handyguys 05-06-2010 02:08 PM

i think the advice given so far is good. I think the clue is in the consistency of the moisture.
Quote:

When the moisture does bead up, it has almost a sticky consistency
How would rain water get sticky? Something is being dissolved in it. What could that be that would cause it to be sticky? Could it be sap? That's my guess. Where is the sap? Its coming from the creosote in the chimney.

My first thought is you didn't have a chimney cap. You say you do. I'm envisioning water getting in the chimney and soaking through the masonry to the inside. Along the way its picking up some creosote. Try smelling the sticky liquid. My guess is it smells like smoke or like sap or more likely smokey sap.

Where could that water be getting in? the cap, through the masonary or both.

Yeah, lots of speculation.

You should be getting your chimney swept occasionally. Some say once a year. try a different sweep and ask his opinions.

You can change your cap to one with a built in damper, like this
http://www.anewfluechimney.com/image...amper_1kpd.jpg

That might help too.

Post some pics and if you find a solution post that too.

rbhous 05-06-2010 03:14 PM

handyguys, my situation is a little different than the original poster. My moisture is not sticky and it does not bead up. The wall is just damp. I did have a new cap and liner installed, tuckpointed, sealed and flashing fixed. The wall is damp around and behind the chimney from the second floor to the first floor. My only thought is that some of the work was not done properly. I recently had another roofer out that said the roof looked fine. So my next check is with chimney again.


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