One of the best ways to prolong the life of your chimney is to have it professionally sealed with a high-quality water repellent. As chimneys age, small cracks can begin to appear in the bricks and mortar joints, which will allow water to get in. Once inside, water begins to damage the chimney structure, leading to an unsafe operating environment and costly repairs.
Here in Maryland, our cold winters are hard on chimneys. Any chimney with even a small leak is susceptible to further damage when water freezes within cracks and then expands, making larger cracked areas for more water to infiltrate. The solution in most cases is professionally applied water repellent.
What is chimney water repellent?
There are several types of spray-on water repellent. Some are water-based, others are solvent-based. Your certified chimney services technician will know which is the best type to use based on the condition of your chimney.
The top water repellent products are vapor-permeable, which means they’re able to release water vapors that otherwise could pass into the bricks when the chimney is being used. With a good repellent, you’ll prevent 99.9% of water penetration into the bricks. When you have your chimney sealed, it’s actually better in some ways than a brand-new chimney.
Benefits of using a top-line water repellent on your chimney
- Save big money on future repairs to fix water-damaged masonry
- Keep your chimney in a safe operating condition
- Say goodbye to damage from freeze/thaw cycles
- Most repellents are environmentally friendly
- Coating resists fungus and mildew
- Coating protects against efflorescence (water staining)
- Maintains the natural look of your chimney (not a glossy finish)
- 10-year warranty when properly applied
How chimney water repellent is applied
In most cases, your chimney service expert will choose a water-based repellent. If your chimney has been sealed in the past, often a solvent-based coating will be used for added strength.
Prior to application, the external surfaces of the chimney will be thoroughly brushed and cleaned to allow for maximum adherence of the sealant. At this time, areas of brick and mortar that need repair will be addressed. The product is then sprayed on in the correct volume to create a solid seal.
Why have a professional do the job?
In addition to ensuring that your chimney is properly prepared for the seal coating and applying the repellent in accord with manufacturer’s exact specifications, it pays to have a certified chimney technician perform this work for other reasons.
Chimney’s need regular inspections and occasional repair work to keep them running at the highest safety and efficiency levels. In fact, virtually every fire-safety organization in the U.S. recommends annual chimney inspections and cleanings.
Your chimney technician can perform a thorough inspection while on the service call to add water repellent. This inspection can turn up issues within the chimney structure that need to be fixed to prevent extensive damage down the line.
A spray-coating job can be done in conjunction with a complete chimney cleaning to remove flammable creosote from the flue. Excess creosote, which forms when wood is burned, is the primary cause of chimney fires in America.
You want your fireplace and chimney to be safe and highly efficient. So do we. If it’s time to have your chimney seal-coated with a strong water repellent, or if you need your system inspected or cleaned, High’s Chimney Service of Gaithersburg, MD, is ready to help. To arrange for a service call, or to get your questions answered, reach us at (301) 519-3500.