Your Chimney Waterproofing Questions Answered

Spring is upon us bringing longer days, warmer weather, and, sometimes, lots of rain. With all that water hitting your roof, it’s a good idea to make sure your chimney is in tip-top shape and properly sealed so that water stays outside where it belongs.

At Lords Chimney we specialize in the care and maintenance of chimneys. We want to help homeowners keep their chimney standing strong, looking good, and functioning properly, which is why we urge customers in the Houston area to invest in professional waterproofing services with us. Call today to get started.

Why Is Waterproofing My Chimney Important?

heavy rainfall coming off of a slanted roofYour chimney is fully exposed to the weather and whatever precipitation may come with it. And through all this, it has two very important jobs it has to do. The first is to allow smoke and the byproducts from burning wood to exit your house safely, and the second is to keep water and other debris from getting into your house.

…which is why waterproofing your masonry is an important part of your chimney maintenance routine. It strengthens your brick and mortar and protects your chimney from natural processes that can destroy your masonry – and even work their way into your home.

How Can Water Damage My Chimney?

Although looking at brick and mortar might cause you to think that water would have little to no effect on such a sturdy and durable structure, the truth is quite the opposite. Masonry is full of tiny pores that absorb moisture. Little pockets of water can hide out in your brick and mortar for long periods of time, which then makes your chimney susceptible to damage.

If left unchecked, damage will continue until one day your chimney will be broken down and unsafe for use.

What Are Some Signs My Chimney Needs Waterproofing?

There are some things that can tip you off to the fact that your chimney needs to be sealed. The most obvious might be cracking and crumbling brick and mortar. If you notice that your masonry seems weakened, it’s time to call a professional to help you repair and waterproof your chimney.

Another thing to look for is efflorescence appearing on the outside of your chimney. Efflorescence shows up when deposits of salt are picked up by water within the brick and mortar of your chimney. As the water evaporates it leaves behind a white, chalky-looking residue. This is a sign that water is being absorbed by your masonry – and it needs to be waterproofed.

Finally, if you notice leaking within your fireplace or around your chimney it likely means that water is getting into your chimney where it shouldn’t. Don’t hesitate to call us at Lords Chimney, so we can help you locate the source of the leak, get it repaired, and waterproof your masonry before more costly damage is caused.

How Long Does Chimney Waterproofing Last?

water droplets on a bright green leafA thorough waterproofing job done by a professional with a high-grade vapor-permeable product can keep your chimney’s water defenses up for years. Most products, when professionally maintained, will stand strong for around ten years. However, that length of time gets drastically shorter when the job is done by someone inexperienced  with improper chemicals and equipment.

Can I Waterproof My Chimney Myself?

An amateur waterproofing job will vary in effectiveness, and if done before repairing weak spots in your chimney, it can be a very costly endeavor. Using vapor-permeable sealants is a necessary part of sealing your chimney, and these not always readily available in retail stores. Having the knowledge about what kind of treatment will work best on your specific masonry is a must.

Fortunately, Lord Chimney’s team of trained techs have the experience and know-how to get your job done right the first time, saving your money, time, and lots of stress.

Will Chimney Waterproofing Prevent All Water Damage to My Chimney?

Water can damage a chimney in a lot of ways, and often, damaged or improperly installed chimney caps and flashing can be culprits of letting water in. So, while waterproofing your chimney will protect the masonry and keep it strong, your chimney may have other weak spots through which water can find its way inside.

Long story short – it’s essential to cover all of your bases! Lords Chimney is trained to be able to spot these weak areas. Our team is fully equipped to notice small imperfections that can have a big impact on your chimney, and we can help you repair these imperfections, eliminate weak spots, and drive water away from your chimney – for good.

Trust Us for a Job Well Done

Lords Chimney can get the job done right and done efficiently. Our professionals will make sure you’re left with a chimney that is able to perform how it was meant, providing you with the warmth and joy that a fireplace is meant to bring – all while keeping water outside for the long haul. Call us today to schedule your waterproofing job, or you can book online through our site.

Thanks for choosing us.

Answering Your Waterproofing Questions

There’s never a bad time to think about chimney care, and one of the most common issues homeowners face when it comes to chimney damage is water exposure. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has actually named water chimney’s biggest enemy, so you know leak-related damages are nothing to underestimate!

And what’s one of the most effective ways to prevent water damage? Chimney waterproofing!

How does water damage my chimney? (And how can I spot it?)

Here’s the lowdown on the more common ways water damages your chimney…

  • Rust: Your chimney cap, chase cover, flashing, and damper are all much more likely to experience rust (and not be able to effectively do their jobs) if your system isn’t adequately protected.
  • Answering Your Waterproofing Questions - Houston TX - Lords Chimney waterWood Rot: As water damages your chimney, it won’t be long before it starts working its way into your home, as well. This results in any adjacent woodwork becoming weakened and rotted.
  • Wall/Ceiling Stains: And speaking of home damage, you’ll probably notice water stains on your walls and ceiling, too!
  • Clogging: As your system breaks down, you’re more likely to have pieces of your clay liner fall into your chimney and clog things up. A clogged chimney is never a good thing, and it can put your chimney, home, and family at further risk every time you light a fire.
  • Cracks & Crumbling: Your masonry is sure to break down the more it soaks in moisture. This results in hazards like smoke in your home, carbon monoxide leaks, house fires, and more… and it’s where chimney waterproofing really comes into play!
  • Tilted or Collapsed Hearth: In the end, the longer any damages go unaddressed, the worse off your system will be – and the more likely you’ll wind up facing some serious damage down the line.

As for spotting it, be sure to keep an eye out for discoloration on your brickwork. It could be green, which indicates mold or vegetative growth, or you may even notice some white efflorescence, which is a clear indication that water is wreaking havoc.

You might also notice water pooling in your fireplace or hear dripping coming from the inside. This is a good indicator that your cap is damaged or potentially missing altogether.

Smelling something unpleasant? Water can mix with your creosote to create bad campfire-esque smells, or you may notice some musty/moldy odors, too.

Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for obvious signs of cracking, decay, or crumbling. If your bricks are missing or cracked, or if your mortar joints seem to be falling out and deteriorating, then water is the likely culprit, and you’ll need some repairs completed before moving forward with any fireplace usage.

My chimney’s already leaking… Should I schedule repairs first?

Yep! Repairs should be completed before investing in waterproofing to ensure the most effective results. Fortunately, the team at Lords Chimney is qualified to address just about anything you’d need done, so you can work with us from start to finish – no matter the current state of your chimney.

Call on us for tuckpointing, flashing repairs, chimney cap replacements, crown rebuilds, and more. We’re confident we can handle whatever you throw our way!

Can I just use my own chimney sealer?

Are you known throughout your neighborhood for tackling an endless line of DIY projects? If so, you’re probably thinking… why not just buy my own sealant and do the job myself? This isn’t an uncommon thought for homeowners in our service area, and while it sounds foolproof enough, it’s not something we recommend.

One issue with these store-bought products is that many leave behind an unsightly film or glossy shine, which is is the last thing you want in a masonry structure. Some can even cause discoloration, leaving you with more of a mess than you started with.

The bigger problem, though, is that the waterproofing products need to be vapor permeable, otherwise your chimney will continue to suffer. Professional waterproofing products are formulated to meet these requirements, ensuring any moisture already trapped inside of the brickwork can still eventually vent out.

Long story short – your brickwork needs to breathe! This is why trusting a professional throughout the process is so important. …and why store-bought products can wind up causing more harm than good.

My chimney’s held up for years… Do I really need waterproofing?

Answering Your Waterproofing Questions - Houston TX - Lords Chimney chimneyYes! Bricks are known for their strength and durability, but bad weather and moisture will always win out in the end. Chances are your system has, in fact, already suffered quite a bit of damage. You’re just not noticing it because it’s hidden or in the form of small, hard-to-notice cracking. Unfortunately, there will come a time when these minor issues turn into big (and expensive) repairs. And the longer you put off repairs, the worse off you’ll be.

In fact, not only is waterproofing a must, but so are annual inspections. Like we said, damages can easily remain hidden for quite some time, so you could be at risk every time you light a fire without even knowing it. It’s through these seemingly minor damages that smoke, fumes, toxic gases, and fire can escape into your home and put those within it at risk.

Is my masonry the only thing to waterproof?

In addition to the sides of your masonry chimney, we also recommend waterproofing your crown and your chimney flashing. The crown is what actually directs the water away from the sides of your brickwork, and the flashing protects the vulnerable spot where your roof and chimney meet, so both play a vital role in leak prevention – and need adequate protection because of that.

Does my prefab chimney need waterproofing?

Since your chimney chase isn’t made from brick and mortar, our masonry waterproofing products obviously won’t be as useful on a prefab chimney. That said, prefab systems still need protection from water damage! What will be most beneficial is a quality chase cover, which is essentially the crown of a factory-built set-up.

Most systems come with their own chase cover, but these stock models don’t typically hold up for very long. Investing in a long-lasting, high-quality model (and having it professionally installed) is always going to be your best bet – and it will save you hundreds in repairs down the line.

Contact Us Today for Exceptional Care

Need chimney care this spring and summer? Now’s the time to call! Reach out soon, so you’re all set and ready when the busy fall season comes back around. We look forward to speaking with you!