Damp: Ceilings off chimney breast

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Hi,

Hoping you can help guide me with some of your thoughts with a damp problem I’m having in two upstairs bedrooms off the chimney.

This seems to have been more of a problem in one room than the other for some time although in our other room the paint was cracking around this area which makes me think I just haven’t been seeing it as much. However since scraping the paint off and repainting the issue is infinitely more noticeable.

Our two bedrooms no longer have fireplaces in them but do have vents which if closed I know can sometimes cause damp. If the vents were open but had a chest of drawers in front of them (not blocking entirely but in front of) is this sufficient enough to cause an issue?

I’ve been up in the loft and the areas in question are covered by insulation which is cold but isn’t obviously wet. The laths and plaster also show no obvious signs of water and there aren’t any obvious water trails to that area.

We’ve had a couple of roofers who’ve both said the most obvious thing is that the chimney needs repointing which we’ve booked although I’m just concerned about the issue persisting after this is complete.

Would you agree with this looking at the pictures of our rooms or is there something else I should be looking at? Is there anything I can do in the mean time as the issue just seems to be getting worse.

Apologies if any of these questions are beyond stupid. Although I’m comfortable with most things this is something I’ve never looked at.

Thanks again.
 

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I’ve been up in the loft and the areas in question are covered by insulation which is cold but isn’t obviously wet. The laths and plaster also show no obvious signs of water and there aren’t any obvious water trails to that area.

We’ve had a couple of roofers who’ve both said the most obvious thing is that the chimney needs repointing which we’ve booked although I’m just concerned about the issue persisting after this is complete.

Damp from a chimney, will most obviously show in the discolouration of plaster of the chimney breast, rather than on ceiling plaster. An exception might be, where the chimney stack dog-legs in the loft, so drips can then drop on the ceiling.
 
Damp from a chimney, will most obviously show in the discolouration of plaster of the chimney breast, rather than on ceiling plaster. An exception might be, where the chimney stack dog-legs in the loft, so drips can then drop on the ceiling.
Thanks for the reply.

That’s what I thought. In one bedroom it’s very obviously on the wall but here it’s on the ceiling mainly. Would you mind explaining what you mean by dog legs in the loft so I can check. The only dog legs I know are on the golf course!
 
The only dog legs I know are on the golf course!

Some chimneys rise vertically, all the way up and out through the roof. Some go up vertically, then the upper part can be offset/not directly above the main vertical part. If enough water were to leak down that offset upper face, it might then drip onto your ceiling.
 
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Some chimneys rise vertically, all the way up and out through the roof. Some go up vertically, then the upper part can be offset/not directly above the main vertical part. If enough water were to leak down that offset upper face, it might then drip onto your ceiling.
I’ve taken some pictures in the loft to see what you think. I hope that’s okay. (No light up there so forgive the flash).

I tried to take pictures of the stack and also the back of the ceiling of the room I was talking about. Admittedly some of the insulation does feel somewhat damp (or cold it’s hard to tell).

Thanks again.
 

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Hi Dan, just wondering if you managed to sort out your damp problem on your stack?

I appear to have the same problem with water running down the chimney brick work in the attic.

Have had a roofer check and he think the flashings and tiles appear ok. Water slowly runs down the bricks with any significant rain.

Thanks for your help.
 
Hi Dan, just wondering if you managed to sort out your damp problem on your stack?

I appear to have the same problem with water running down the chimney brick work in the attic.

Have had a roofer check and he think the flashings and tiles appear ok. Water slowly runs down the bricks with any significant rain.

Thanks for your help.

Water getting in the chimney. Check the pointing etc...
 
Hi Dan, just wondering if you managed to sort out your damp problem on your stack?

I appear to have the same problem with water running down the chimney brick work in the attic.

Have had a roofer check and he think the flashings and tiles appear ok. Water slowly runs down the bricks with any significant rain.

Thanks for your help.
Hey mate.

Yeah we’ve just had our pointing redone on the chimney which is where they think the issue was.

It genuinely got done less than a week ago so really just a case of waiting to see if it dries up now. Fingers crossed!
 
Hey Dan, Fingers crossed the repointing will solve it for you.

We had our pointing and flashing on the stack redone but unfortunately it still leaks. Roofer now thinks bricks may have become porous so thinks it would be worth sealing or rendering the stack. I’m a little sceptical seems like too much of a leak to me and although old the bricks appear in very good condition. Have thought about taking it down to below roof line but we have a wood burner so would need to decommission which would be a shame.
 
danjgrant,
Photos of the chimney stack flashing (especially the back gutter), and also the flaunching will be a great help?
Whoever next goes on the roof should take pics.
Pointing is rarely a cause of stack or chimney breast leaking.
Why not examine the bedroom vented chimney breasts for any signs of damage to the decorated surfaces?
What about fireplaces/chimney breasts on the ground floor?
 
danjgrant,
Photos of the chimney stack flashing (especially the back gutter), and also the flaunching will be a great help?
Whoever next goes on the roof should take pics.
Pointing is rarely a cause of stack or chimney breast leaking.
Why not examine the bedroom vented chimney breasts for any signs of damage to the decorated surfaces?
What about fireplaces/chimney breasts on the ground floor?
We still have the scaffolding up so I plan to have a look to check the guttering actually so I can absolutely take some pictures. We sometimes have water overflowing the gutter on that side of the house when it rains heavily (not next to the chimney but still).

One fireplace on the ground floor has a wood burner in it, in our bedroom nearest the wall you can actually see where the damp appears to be dried by the heat going up the chimney (I assume) but there's still damp is it moves further away from the wall.

The other is a gas fireplace which is unused. No signs of damp on either downstairs chimney breast.

We've had a bunch of rain these past few days and whereas previously the damp may have gotten worse it doesn't appear to have which is either good news or I'm being naive!
 
Homeowner666, Keep your stacks mate and sack the "roofer" with his " porous" bricks & rendering the stack.
Dont ever render a chimney stack.
Unless its going to cause thread issues then why not, same as above, post photos of your stack, flashings & flaunching?
 
danjgrant, No problem. Please post pics of the gutter issues as well.
I look forward to receiving all your new photos.
Maybe I've spotted an issue with the pics showing the back gutter boarding and membrane.
Another, probably minor issue, is that the trimming rafters and trimmer have been, unusually, supported by short props.
A few bob well spent is to have all your flues (four?) swept - even the boarded or unused flues should be swept if your unsure of their condition. An appliance with a SS liner is another matter.
 
danjgrant, No problem. Please post pics of the gutter issues as well.
I look forward to receiving all your new photos.
Maybe I've spotted an issue with the pics showing the back gutter boarding and membrane.
Another, probably minor issue, is that the trimming rafters and trimmer have been, unusually, supported by short props.
A few bob well spent is to have all your flues (four?) swept - even the boarded or unused flues should be swept if your unsure of their condition. An appliance with a SS liner is another matter.
Will do mate, thanks for your help. It's appreciated.

We've actually had our flue with with our log burner recently swept but haven't given thought about doing that with the vented ones upstairs which would be smart. Thanks again.

Will post pictures within the next few.
 

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