Leaky Chimney? No Problem! The Experts at Garden State Chimney in Franklin Lakes, NJ Can Help

Nestled in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains, you’ll find the quaint township of Franklin Lakes, NJ. The combination of wooded hills, lush lowlands, and almost two dozen lakes that surround its countryside creates a captivating setting that’s easy to fall in love with as each season passes.

Just wait until you experience spring and fall at Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve. This natural paradise is a favorite for many outdoor enthusiasts, offering an abundance of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, and fishing – an ideal destination for all types of recreational activities.

But in winter, Franklin Lakes, NJ really comes alive. The snow creates thrilling opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing at the nearby Campgaw Mountain Ski Area. And you certainly can’t miss the Christmas tree lighting at Veterans Park. With so many activities to choose from, it truly is a winter wonderland.

Dan was great to work with. He was very responsive, honest in his assessment, and really went the extra mile to help us get our problems fixed very quickly. He even recommended a unique solution that saved us a little money. We would definitely use him again for our chimney needs.

-Rachel W.

As much fun as there is to be had in this area, when Old Man Winter is busy making th snow fall and the air bitter cold, the best place to be is cozied up next to a roaring fire. However, some fireplaces may not function as efficiently as they once did, and sometimes issues, like chimney leaks, suddenly arise.

If you find yourself facing such a problem, rest assured that Garden State Chimney is here to assist in diagnosing and repairing all leaky chimney-related problems. We help homeowners in Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, Oakland, Midland Park, and more get back to enjoying warm fireside moments. If you’re in our service area, call us at 973-519-0802 or reach out online now to get started.

What Are Common Signs of a Leaky Chimney?

A leaky chimney is great cause for concern. Just ask anyone who has ever had to spend large amounts of money on leaky chimney repair services after experiencing severe water damage to their home. While there’s no way to stop water all together, there are ways to help prevent moisture intrusion and better protect your chimney from its greatest enemy.

So how do you know when you have a leaky chimney problem? There are a few signs to look out for:

  • Water Stains & Discoloration: Have you noticed any water stains on the walls and ceilings around your chimney? That is the most obvious sign of intrusion, but sometimes the brick in a masonry chimney can even begin to form a white, powdery substance on the surface of the brick. This is called efflorescence, and that white powder is just the salt that is left behind when the moisture evaporates. While it isn’t dangerous, it points to a bigger problem that needs to be fixed.
  • Musty Odors: If there is water that becomes trapped in the chimney, mold can start to form, and create an unpleasant, musty odor. It is dangerous for you to breathe in mold, so don’t wait to get this taken care of right away.
  • Deteriorating Masonry: Crumbling mortar joints and bricks is a clear indication that your chimney is in need of repair. Not only is this displeasing to look at, but if left untreated for too long, it poses a severe risk of the whole chimney collapsing. Rebuilding a chimney is much more expensive than repairing a few deteriorated bricks.
  • Rust & Corrosion: The problem with this is that most parts of the chimney that can suffer from rust (like the chimney damper, chase cover, or chimney cap) are ones that can’t be seen without proper tools and safety gear. That’s why it is important to schedule a yearly inspection to make sure all components of your fireplace are in good working order.
Garden State Chimney Van

What Is the Freeze/Thaw Process?

If you’ve never experienced a winter in Franklin Lakes, NJ, you’re about to find out just how unpredictable the weather is. But what we can count on is plenty of sleet, snow, and even rain, all of which takes a toll on your chimney. The challenge with this is the freeze/thaw process.

Brick naturally absorbs moisture, and when water freezes, it expands. Have you ever filled a bottle with water and stuck it in the freezer, only to discover later that the whole bottle bubbled out and deformed? Now imagine that, except within all the tiny cracks and crevices of the brick.

Each time water freezes and thaws, the cracks get larger and larger, allowing more water to be absorbed. What you’re left with is a hefty repair bill in order to have the spalling brick repaired or replaced, and some potentially very serious water damage to every area of the home surrounding the chimney.

Dan arrived timely for my chimney inspection. As an added bonus, he was able to inspect my dryer vent too (a different company had left me in the lurch by failing to show that same afternoon). I am pleased with their performance and punctuality and would recommend them highly.

-Stewart M.

What Are Other Causes of Chimney Leaks?

  • Damaged Chimney Crown: The chimney crown is a concrete slab that sits on the very top of the chimney, right below the top of the flue pipe. Because it is constantly exposed to the elements, it is common for the chimney crown to crack and allow water to seep through, especially if it wasn’t built from appropriate materials initially (a common problem).
  • Issues With the Chimney Cap: The chimney cap is the protective covering that sits on top of the flue pipe. It prevents rain, snow, and debris from entering your chimney. It wasn’t always looked at as a requirement for fireplaces, so some chimneys have never had one installed, but it plays a vital role in keeping things safer. Other times, it may be improperly fitted, or even been damaged during extreme weather.
  • Cracked or Deteriorated Chimney Masonry: You’d think anything made of brick would be nearly impenetrable. However, just like with the chimney crown, constant exposure to fluctuating weather conditions causes the bricks and mortar to crack, leaving large gaps for water to invade.
  • Faulty Flashing: Flashing is the metal material that helps seal the gap between the chimney and the roof. Sometimes flashing may be installed incorrectly, while other times it, too, can be damaged whether by strong winds, heavy rainfall, or even animal tampering.
  • Chimney Liner Issues: Also called a flue liner, this part of the chimney is responsible for carrying the smoke and dangerous gases out of the home. If the flue is cracked or damaged in any way, not only water can enter the chimney, but smoke, heat, gases, and even flames can also enter into your home.
  • Condensation: The warm air against a cold, unlined chimney can cause condensation to occur. While experiencing some condensation is normal, too much of it can cause damage and be the source of those musty smells you might be experiencing.
  • Poor Chimney Construction: Those that try to cut corners by hiring inexperienced chimney companies to install the chimney or complete repairs will pay for it later when they realize the job wasn’t done correctly. You’d be surprised at how often this happens. Cheaper usually means lower-quality work.
  • Lack of Chimney Waterproofing: Did you know there is a protective sealant that can be applied to the exterior of a masonry chimney that will further help protect it from being vulnerable to water penetration and frequent leaks? It is an easy and rather cost effective way to add a long-lasting layer of protection.

Who Can Help Prevent Chimney Leaks Near Franklin Lakes, NJ?

With a population just over 10,000 people, it’s no surprise that this little town in Bergen County has a strong sense of unity that is felt among its residents. The tight-knit community where neighbors genuinely care for one another is one of the main reasons Garden State Chimney loves to do business here.

The number one thing you can do in order to help prevent chimney leaks from occurring is to schedule yearly inspections. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends at least once a year, if not more, depending on the age, condition, and how often you use your fireplace.

The reason is simple: annual inspections help ensure your chimney and all of its components are in good working condition and that your fireplace is burning efficiently. A thorough inspection should only be done by a certified chimney technician – and it’s a good thing we know a team that can help.

Trust Garden State for All Your Chimney Needs

Not only are the chimney technicians here at Garden State Chimney certified, but we specialize in leaky chimneys, as well as a number of other repair and installation services. We can help address issues like cracked masonry, damaged flashing, faulty chimney caps, and more.

But, all that said, we believe there is more to our company than just the knowledge we have on chimneys and fireplaces. Because we are a locally owned and operated business, you can count on us to have a better understanding of the unique needs and challenges that homeowners in Franklin Lakes, NJ (and everywhere else surrounding) face when it comes to fireplace maintenance and repair.

Our commitment to the community drives us to deliver excellent services while also providing the personalized attention and exceptional customer care you deserve. 

When you choose Garden State Chimney, you’re not just getting skilled professionals, you’re getting a team that genuinely cares about your satisfaction, as well as the safety of your home and those in it. Experience the difference of working with a local company that treats you like family – give Garden State Chimney a call at 973-519-0802 or book an appointment with us online today.


We’re excited to include inhabitants of Morristown in our extensive service area, making their chimney systems safe to use every burning season.