It’s spring, which means it’s time for chimney leak prevention and waterproofing! If your chimney system is in need of repairs, this is the time to get it done, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our crew for tuckpointing services, chimney cap installations, flashing repairs, crown rebuilds, and anything else that needs taken care of.
And when all is said and done and your repairs are completed… waterproofing is the vital next step.
Now, with waterproofing often comes questions from the homeowner, so we’re here today to address the most common ones we get. But if we missed something that’s pressing on your mind, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d be happy to answer anything that comes to mind.
What kinds of damage does water cause?
Here’s a quick overview of damages you could face when your system isn’t protected from rain, snow, sleet, and other types of moisture:
- Rusted chimney cap, chase cover, damper, and flashing
- Stains on your home’s ceiling and walls
- Discoloration throughout your chimney
- Cracked and crumbling bricks and mortar
- Broken down chimney liner
- Clogs in your flue (caused by the pieces of your broken liner)
- Damages in your firebox
- Rotting woodwork in your home
- Chimney settlement or collapse
- Tilted chimney structure
But possibly the biggest issue (and the one that will definitely occur if waterproofing products aren’t applied) is the freeze thaw process. This is when the pre-absorbed water in your bricks freezes, expands, and causes cracking to occur. Then, once temps rise and the water melts, more enters into the newly formed cracks, and the process starts all over again.
These cycles typically occur multiple times a season, which means your system ends up facing a lot of wear and tear by the end of one winter. And it’s why waterproofing is such a must.
Doesn’t my brickwork need to breath? Won’t waterproofing prevent this?
Yes, your brickwork needs to breath, and no, professional waterproofing does not stop this from occurring. The products we use are 100% vapor permeable, which means your brickwork is totally protected from outside sources, while still able to breath out any pre-absorbed moisture and necessary fireplace fumes.
Can I do waterproofing myself?
This is one DIY project we strongly advise against. Referring to the previous question, your brickwork needs to be able to vent and breathe, and all too often store-bought paints and sealers prevent this from happening. Your masonry will be safe on the outside, but on the inside your bricks and masonry will still be breaking down, and you’ll eventually need to invest in expensive repairs.
In addition to this, our products ensure you’re not left with a glossy shine or unsightly film. You won’t even notice we’ve applied it! …except for the fact that water now beads up and rolls off of your bricks instead of soaking into them.
I don’t see any damage… Do I still need waterproofing?
Not seeing any damage throughout your chimney is always a good sign, but there’s a reason we urge customers to invest in annual inspections… it’s because, quite often, masonry-related damages are hidden away where you can’t see them. It’s these damages that lead to hazards like chimney fires, house fires, smoke exposure, carbon monoxide leaks, and more.
Should repairs be needed, it’s also important that these be completed before investing in your waterproofing services. That way everything is order and no areas accidentally get overlooked throughout the process.
So, here’s what we suggest… schedule your inspection, get any necessary repairs completed, then book your waterproofing service, so that you don’t face any of these same issues down the line.
And if your inspection revealed no major issues?
We still recommend waterproofing! That way, your strong-standing structure can stay sturdy and reliable for many more years to come.
What’s the best time for chimney waterproofing?
Waterproofing is best done in warmer weather (i.e. in the spring and summer months) because the products we use are able to soak into the masonry and dry up more effectively.
And if repairs are needed before completing waterproofing? These are best done in the spring and summer, too! Oftentimes, the materials needed to get the job done (like the new mortar in tuckpointing) need to cure in a warmer temperature range and when rain or snow isn’t going to come down and undo any of our progress.
In a pinch, yes, most repairs can be done in the colder months, but these jobs will be more a temporary fix to get you through til the next warm stretch. In the end, if you want repairs that are truly going to last, now is the time to get them completed.
Does my prefab system need waterproofing, too?
Prefab systems are prone to water damage, too! That said, if you have a prefabricated chimney, you won’t need waterproofing (as it’s not made of brick and mortar). You will want to make sure it’s protected with a reliable chase cover, though. If you are still using the cover your system came with, then we’d advise you to update as soon as possible.
Why is this? Most stock chase covers simply aren’t built to last for the long haul, and before you know it, things will break down leaving your chase vulnerable. Upgrade now, while the weather is nice and your system is not being used. Come fall, you’ll be all set and ready to enjoy your burning season!
Call Our Crew Now!
Don’t wait until the busy fall season to invest in the care your system needs. Call our crew now at 518-500-4048 or book an appointment with us online to get started.