The How and Why of Waterproofing Your Chimney

March 26, 2015

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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.

03/26/15

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