Is that these days we're not using them!
It's only October and it's raining again. There are damp spots appearing randomly on the third floor chimney breasts. But what do we do. It isn't that wet, it's just damp .. as soon as we have some sunny days, they dry out again. So far the second floors are "okay" .. that's kind of good, because I just under coated the dining room walls!
One of the chimney breasts in the ground (partly underground) floor is dry as a bone, the other one we're not sure. But there is no evidence of damp spots in the chimney breasts in the loft (as yet, but maybe we need to get all the old thick plasterboard off?)
The roofing contractor said the chimneys needed re-pointing. Others have said the pointing is in fine order and it certainly looks okay to me. Our neighbour, who repointed his chimneys himself a little while back, said that his pointing was in much worse order than ours looks to currently be and there wasn't much damp, even after the repointing, their master bedroom chimney breast still gets damps spots after rain.
The problem with chimneys is that there is much that could be wrong .. the capping (all of ours but the one "in use" has been capped) .. the flashing ... the damp course inside the chimney itself is shot .. and there could of course be the one obvious point .. these chimneys were designed to support fireplaces that got used regularly .. and these days .. we seldom do. So they never get to dry out.