Chimney needs repairing

by Mars

It’s been a trying time. Last week, we had some strong winds and driving rain. On Thursday evening my wife went to her dressing room to find water marks on the ceiling. Another leak!

It didn’t take us long to determine that we were clearly getting water making its way into the house via the chimney. We checked the inside of the wood burning stoves and they were drying indicating that the water wasn’t coming in via the flue liners. Not a surprise as we’d had these professionally replaced last year. Out came the Canon zoom lens. It would appear from the photos that there is a hole above the lead flashing.

Seeking professional assistance

Despite my growing appetite for DIY and taking on projects, we decided to hand this one over to the professionals for two key reasons. One, I suffer from terrible acrophobia (it’s about 10 meters from the ground to our gutter and another 3-4 from there to the chimney) and two, it’s an awfully long way to the ground if we were to have a mishap. The ‘simple’ solution is to get some professional roofers and brickies to help us patch up any holes before considering a rebuild next summer.

On Friday, we spent four hours on the phone speaking to scores of roofers, brickies, builders and even chimney sweeps – the general disinterest and lack of urgency was worrying. Most told us they could “fit us in” for repair work in 3-4 months time due to their busy schedules. Great. So for the next three months we’d just be getting more and more water damage and damp inside the house. Not useful.

Finally, a reputed roofing company said they’d come out on Saturday to evaluate the damage and quote us. Awesome. They turned up without any equipment or ladders, and upon checking out our photos the general consensus was a gap in the lead flashing was the potential cause.

They said they’d send out a team on Monday to do the repair work. A team did arrive, with no ladders or equipment, and said they’d be back in a couple of hours. That was four days ago. The issue, we think, is that this project isn’t big enough for specialists, but it’s also not small enough to get done over lunch hour or on the way home. And we’re stuck. We are still following up with the people we’ve contacted, but to no avail. At this rate, we may just have to look at hiring or buying equipment to get us on the roof safely and getting the patch job done ourselves.

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