Protect Chimney Masonry with Water Repellent
Many homeowners are waterproofing their chimney to prevent water leaks. Water is the chimney’s worst enemy. While bricks are manufactured with a hard-outer shell, cracks eventually develop due to weather and normal wear and tear. These small cracks create channels that lead moisture inside the chimney resulting in water leaks.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Leaks
But water isn’t the only problem. Cracks and gaps in the chimney masonry also allow smoke and toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide to leak into the living space. Thus, reducing indoor air quality to potentially dangerous conditions. More than 20,000 Americans are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Preventing Water Leaks
Unless prevented, water damage will continue. The porous clay material soaks up moisture like a sponge. And as more moisture seeps into the masonry, it reduces its durability even more. Eventually, the bricks begin to crumble like sand. You may notice cracked bricks, gaps in the mortar joints, masonry pieces on the ground and even entire bricks or stones missing from the facade. Left untreated the chimney can become unstable and eventually collapse.
Reduce Masonry Damage
Waterproofing can help protect the masonry from water damage, but you must first inspect and repair any masonry damage to stabilize and strengthen the chimney. During the inspection, a certified chimney professional will determine the extent of any damage. Minor damage can be fixed quickly. Significant damage may mean a partial or complete chimney restoration. Experienced masons will perform the repairs by filling in any cracks in the masonry, replacing missing bricks and strengthening the mortar joints to bring the chimney back to as close to its original condition as possible.
Waterproofing Your Chimney
With the repaired masonry out of the way, the exterior masonry should be cleaned before waterproofing. It’s best to protect a clean surface so getting rid of any dirt or grime will maximize the effectiveness of the water repellent. After it is applied, the water repellent dries to form a protective coating on the masonry surface. This tough as nails surface, not only repels water, but it also prevents ice particles from sticking to the masonry in the winter. It is also resistant to stains, mold, mildew and other fungi. Thus, providing year-round chimney masonry protection against flaking, cracks, and other forms of deterioration. Your chimney will stay cleaner longer too. Eco-friendly water repellent is also available.
Water repellent will provide long-lasting chimney masonry protection, but it will need to be re-applied every 5 to 7 years to maintain its effectiveness. For best results and maximum protection, water repellent should only be applied by a certified chimney professional like Northeastern Chimney.