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I had a loose tile on the roof in front of the chimney breast and noticed that in the loft the internal chimney breast was a bit damp. Since then had it repaired (i.e. the tile tapped down and the flashing secured.

I once saw a surveyor test water moisture in wall with a little machine. I would like to know if there has been damage to the chimney and wondered if I could buy one to test. Just really worried that this is a serious problem and I have been ripped off!

How can I check to make sure there is no permanent damage?

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how long ago was the repair done? Before the repair was completed, did much water get in? If you now go up into your loft space and feel the chimney breast with your bare-heads does it feel damp? –  Mike Perry Aug 18 '11 at 21:13
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If this propblem did not span over a freezing winter- then there is most liekly no damge caused. Brickts and mortar can absorb water naturally and does not do anything to it. Just ventilate the damped area well enough and the moisture will go away. If you had freezing- then the damp could have expanded causing structural damage and needs inspection by a builder. Then usually they fix it by bracing the chimney. –  ppumkin Aug 19 '11 at 8:29
    
Hi - I have just had it repaired few weeks back but the very top going into the roof and about a foot down is damp to touch. Was wondering if I should leave a small heater in there on a very low heat to dry it out.?? –  wally Aug 19 '11 at 11:35
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1 Answer

The best way I've found to check for damage isn't the way you want to hear: pull everything out, open it all up, and expose any areas that could have been damaged. Faced with that, most of us ignore the problem until there is a visible sign (rotting wood or water damaged drywall). But that's not to say this is the right choice, since mold and mildew will spread and make the problem worse.

If the problem is behind a few sheets of drywall, the best option may be to simply pull them down and replace them with a mold and mildew proof board. Do a thorough inspection for damage while the drywall is out.

The probe sounds like a wood moister tester. A high reading is bad, but a low reading doesn't mean you're ok (the water could have gone somewhere else). If you can't access the affected area from the attic or crawl space, then you may want to see if you can rent a borescope, drill some holes near where you think the water could have gotten in, and see what you can find.

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