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Finding Cause of Water Damage Over Fireplace

We have a 1950's brick cape cod. The wall over the fireplace has extreme moisture damage. The chimney is set on the front wall of the house. We have had a new roof put on, the chimney exterior masonry sealed, and a home inspector evaluate the water damage. The problem continues. What is the next step in discovering the cause? How to repair the damage?

Re: Finding Cause of Water Damage Over Fireplace

Was this an issue before the roof was done?

It sounds like that section of wall is in need of repair anyway ..... open that area of wall to dry things out also it will allow you to investigate where the moisture is coming from.

It's difficult to say from here where the source is .... the roof line ..... the soffit line .... the transition between the brick and wall framing ..... interior plumbing leak ..... etc..

If it's from rain penetrating you can use a garden hose from the outside spraying different areas of the brick to see where the source of the moisture is.

Re: Finding Cause of Water Damage Over Fireplace

The water problem existed years before the roof was replaced. We purchased the house 10 years ago. At that time, the home inspector said to replace the roof and install a cricket. We had those items done about 8 years ago. The roofer has returned twice to examine the roof. He inspected the work and even checked the attic over the fireplace for incoming water. There is no real evident water damage in the attic and he believes that the roofwork looks sufficient. A recent inspector concurred. We pulled away damaged wall over the fireplace a few weeks ago. There is water damaged wood where the ceiling meets the wall but currently very dry. The damage is most significant at one side of the fireplace. We were told to try sealing the brickwork on the chimney. We did that in the past but it didn't help. Our chimney cleaner believes that it won't help. There is no plumbing in the area.
Is there another type of masonry expert to consult, aside from the chimney cleaner or a home inspector?

Re: Finding Cause of Water Damage Over Fireplace

I would usually suspect poor or deficient flashing.
Does the top of the chimney have a sufficient sloped wash, sealed properly between the flue tile & masonry and have a flue cap to keep out water? If their isn't a sufficient wash on top, it could direct water into the masonry or could allow ponding that lets water in.
Their is a company that sells a coating for the top of chimneys that needs to be professionally applied although a good cement wash usually works fine.

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