Masonry is a great material for chimneys — it’s strong and sturdy, durable and beautiful, and its porous quality allows moisture, gases and small particles to vent through the brick and out of the chimney as needed. Unfortunately, this porous quality also has its downside. Water can seep into brick and mortar and slowly wear them down. Water in masonry also freezes and expands as temperatures change, causing serious damage like cracking and spalling.
Decades back, there weren’t really any ways to prevent water damage to masonry. Most homeowners protected their wood and other solid materials with paint, but if paint is applied to the outside of a masonry chimney, it will suffocate it. The paint may work to repel water, but the masonry will no longer be able to “breathe” and vent moisture and gases.
Nowadays, though, we have a great solution in vapor-permeable waterproofing sealants. When this type of sealant is applied to your masonry chimney, it works to protect the brick and mortar against water for years to come, often drastically extending its service life. Since the sealant is 100-percent vapor- permeable, any vapor or gas from combustion can escape through the masonry instead of being trapped.
At Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney, we highly recommend having a waterproofing sealant applied. It can work to significantly minimize the chance of chimney leaks and will keep your chimney functioning well and looking great for years.
Some Other Proactive Ways To Help Prevent Chimney Leaks
Check Your Chimney Cap
Is the metal cap at the top of your flue damaged or missing? Chimney caps might seem like an optional part of your system, but we highly recommend having a correctly-sized and installed chimney cap at the top of your flue. Not only does a chimney cap go a long way toward keeping water out of your system, it helps keep birds and other animals from moving in and bringing unwanted noise, debris, bugs and smells into your home.
Have Your Annual Maintenance Done, Each And Every Year
Your chimney works hard to contain and remove high heat and dangerous byproducts so that your family can enjoy a fire without harm or health risk. In order for it to do that work properly, it’s important to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected. This will ensure that creosote and debris aren’t building up in your flue and that small problems are noticed before they become larger problems. These regularly scheduled inspections can alert us to any weak areas in your system before water makes an entrance and causes extensive damage.
Are you interested in having a waterproofing sealant applied to your chimney? Call Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney at 303-679-1601 and take preventative action, today!