Well, our chimney has been fixed for about 2 weeks now, and for the first time in a long time we can rest easy when it rains.
It turned out to be a full day's worth of work for the gentlemen of St. John Chimney Sweeps, arriving at 8am and working on interior fixes--they added a new liner to the interior of our chimney/HVAC vent to seal it up and bring it to current code. That took about 3.5 hours between setting up and completing the actual work.
Then they spent about 4.5 hours working on the roof--removing the old flashing and old chimney cap and making the necessary replacements.
All told, nothing looks dramatically different to the common onlooker, but from our back yard, we can now admire the pretty new chimney cap and the rather charming copper flashing around the base of the chimney. As far as the interior work, they replaced a few vent tubes and pipes in the basement and the connections to other heat-drawing things like our water heater, but otherwise it's almost as if nothing happened at all.
Except we don't have a leak anymore! What we do have, however, is a guest room in need of some serious fixin.' Since we had tarped the attic floor where the water was collecting a few weeks before the chimney guys came out, the interior damage to the ceiling and wall in the guest room hasn't gotten any worse (the ceiling has actually stopped flaking). So that's on hold for a little while, but once our pipes are repaired*, getting the guest room sorted is our next task. Of course, that will mean first getting a contractor out to survey the damage and prepare an estimate and repair battle plan. Once we have that, we bring it to our insurance company and hope to have the repairs (minus, of course, our deductible) covered. Fingers crossed!
*I've got AJ Perri plumbing coming out to the house on Friday to look under the hood and see what the heck is going on. The major problem is really more of a nuisance currently, but has the potential to turn into a big old headache if we leave it much longer. It's the dreaded air hammering! It started out innocently enough, but now it's at the point where even when no appliances or faucets are actively drawing water, the pipes be like, "BRRRRR!" It's like frigging Inception for no reason. Maybe Leo DiCaprio is in there because his kick went awry. Most often, however, it'll happen when we run water elsewhere--the toilet flushing, turning on the shower, running the dishwasher or washing machine, or sometimes doing dishes in the kitchen. Anyway, I'm hoping the fix will be rather straightforward and also rather inexpensive! I am encouraged, however, that after this and the guest room we'll be back on the offensive for a while, having played an exhausting bout of defense for a few months. Then again, I guess that's just being an adult.