The How & Why of Waterproofing Your Chimney

The great majority of your home is protected from the elements by one vital part of your home’s structure: the roof. Your roof keeps the wind, rain, and snow outside while your family stays safe and warm inside. However, there is one part of your home that does not receive this protection; this part of your home sticks up above the roof, and so it does not receive any protection from the elements. If you haven’t guessed, it’s your chimney.

Your chimney is exposed to all of the elements throughout the year, and yet it usually receives very little attention from homeowners. Typically, homeowners don’t realize that the chimney needs any attention until there is a serious problem like a leak. If you want to care for your chimney and prevent these kinds of problems before they arise, you need to waterproof it. Here is some information about why you should waterproof your chimney and how it is done.

Why Waterproof?

Your chimney is the one constant opening your home has to the outside world and all of the elements Mother Nature can throw at you. Windows and doors can be closed, but your chimney is always open. You can close the flu of course, but the chimney itself will always be battered by wind, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures.

The materials used in building a chimney–usually bricks and mortar–are all porous. This means that these materials will absorb water if they are not properly waterproofed. Water gets into the bricks and mortar of the chimney; when freezing temperatures set in, that water expands, putting a lot of strain on the materials. As this repeats year after year, the bricks and mortar will begin to crack and crumble, and you’ll experience leaks in your chimney. If not handled quickly, that type of damage can ruin your chimney permanently.

How Is It Done?

Waterproofing your chimney actually takes a lot of steps, and all of them should be done by a professional. Your chimney cap is the first line of defense for your chimney, and you should always have a professional-grade cap on your chimney. If your cap is damaged or isn’t of the right quality, water will get in the chimney.

Second is the chimney flashing. This is the material around your chimney that prevents leaks from forming where the chimney connects with the roof. A professional will be able to check for any damaged or worn areas and will seal chimney flashing in Kennesaw to prevent water from seeping in around your chimney.

If your chimney has already sustained some weather damage, a professional can repair and seal the brick and mortar. This will prevent additional water from getting in and causing any further damage.

They will also inspect your chimney crown. This is the material place on top of the brick and mortar of your chimney; only the cap stands above the crown. The crown is usually made of a solid material like poured concrete so that it can withstand more abuse. Still, it needs to receive the proper care. If damaged, it needs to be repaired or replaced, and it should also be sealed with a waterproof coat.

The chimney itself should also be sealed to make it more resistant to moisture absorption. There are several varieties of chimney sealants out there, so ask a professional what they recommend.

If you properly care for your chimney, it will stay in great shape for decades. Make sure to give it the proper attention it deserves; repair damaged materials, make sure the cap and crown are in good shape, and always seal chimney flashing in Kennesaw. Do these things and you won’t have any problems.

Keeping Out the Elements

As most people are aware, chimneys are designed to channel smoke and carbon monoxide out of the home. What few people ever really ponder is how chimneys let those things out but keep rain and snow from falling in. When it comes to preventing precipitation from falling into a home, there are a few things at play keeping the fire dry. The first thing is that when there is a fire in the fireplace, there is an updraft of warm air. This warm air shoots through the top of the chimney, blowing away any rain or snow that might be trying to make its way into the chimney. Another way chimney’s keep precipitation at bay is that most of them are curved, which catches any stray raindrops or snowflakes long before they douse any flames. Finally, many people put one of a number of waterproofing devices on or in their chimneys. The most popular of these devices is called a chimney cap, which is like an umbrella for chimneys.

Leaks Will Happen

Despite the fact that chimneys are well designed and protected, it is certainly possible for them to leak. When chimney leaks happen, it is important to call a professional chimney sweep about repairing the leak and any damage it caused.

When it comes to a leaky chimney, there are a lot of things that could be causing the problem, such as cracks in the crown, flashing, or masonry work, or lack of a chimney cap. In order to fix such problems, we utilize a variety of products and techniques. The most obvious fix for a leak is the installation of a chimney cap. The type of chimney cap a chimney sweep will install depends entirely on the size and shape of the chimney and whether the top of the chimney is flush with the rest of it or has a crown.

Repairing Leaks and Damage

Another thing the chimney sweep in Marietta will look for is any structural damage. He or she will examine the type and extent of the damage and then decide on the appropriate chimney repair techniques. Once the damage has been fixed, the chimney sweep will use any one of a number of waterproofing products to make sure the damage doesn’t reoccur.