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!

The Easiest Way to Keep Swifts, Animals & Water Out of Your Chimney

Sick of birds setting up camp in your flue? Are squirrels and other critters scrambling throughout your chimney? Stressed about water-relatedmasonry chimney with new crown masonry damages this fall? An easy way to resolve all of these worries is to invest in a high-quality, sturdy chimney cap and to have our team of professionals install it for you.

Not sure where your current cap stands or whether or not it’s actually being effective? We’re here to help. Learn more about chimney cap basics below, then reach out to our crew with any questions. We’re always eager to lend a hand and keep our customers safer, more knowledgeable, and completely prepared for it all.

Matching the Right Cap to the Right Chimney

Now, not all caps are created equal, and the type of cap you’ll need will depend on the type of fireplace you have. If things aren’t matched up appropriately, you’ll end up with a lot of issues, and you’ll invite all kinds of hazards and dangers into your home. Fortunately, we know all there is to know when it comes to fitting the best cap for your system, so you’ll be in good hands when you hire our crew for the job!

The biggest thing to remember is that, no matter what type of chimney or fireplace you’re using, a cap is always a must-have component. Without one in place, those birds and woodland creatures will have easy access to your home, and you’ll find yourself with excessive water damage and debris build-up, too.

If a bad storm blew your cap off or if yours seems damaged or misplaced, please don’t hesitate to call us in. We would be happy to look things over and see where you stand, then suggest further services that are best suited to your needs.

How Do I Know I Have the Wrong Cap?

If you have water coming into your home, or if you’re experiencing clogs, then that’s a clear indicator that your cap may need some adjustments. Other common problems we see are issues with the screening. Every chimney needs the right amount of screening, as well as the right type of screening, and without it, your chimney won’t be able to perform properly.

Usually these problems occur when chimney experts are not the ones hired to handle the task of keeping pests out of the chimney. Now, pest control professionals definitely know how to keep pests out of the home, but when it comes to chimneys they often get it wrong.

Essentially, if your screen is prone to experience build-up or if it lays flat, you’ll end up with issues. In both of these cases, nesting materials will block air, and you’ll have smoke backing into your home before you know it.

And while roofers offer some effective temporary fixes, most won’t do much for you long-term. We’ve even seen some take off the right cap and replace it with something less effective! Not good. In the end, hiring a CSIA certified pro is always the best route to take.

Is a Full-Coverage Cap Worth the Expense?

Now, as long as homeowners have some type of cap (whether that be single-flue, an umbrella type, or something else), we’re happy. That being said, you may find yourself replacing the less expensive, simpler models more often, and they aren’t always as effective as covering all of your bases (i.e. preventing animal entry, blocking out debris, stopping water damage, etc.).

The best route is always going to be investing in a full-coverage cap that keeps anything and everything that’s harmful away from your structure. It’s best for the design of the chimney, and it will save you money over time, both on repair/replacement costs and on damages that could occur throughout the system.

Should I Be Worried About Chimney Swifts?

Now, one of the animals we worry most about in terms of your chimney is the chimney swift. These small birds may seem like nothing to stress about (especially compared to raccoons, bats, and other bigger critters), but the truth is that removing them isn’t as simple as you might think.

You see, chimney swifts are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so once they establish themselves in your chimney, we can’t legally remove them. They’ll have to stay put until they leave on their own, after which we can remove their nests, so you aren’t left with any fire hazards.

And don’t think you’re off the hook once they’re gone! Once they’re done migrating, they’ll want to come right back to the same place they left, so preventing their entry is essential. That’s where an effective cap comes into play. Let us ensure you’re set up right, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle.

Our Qualified Techs are Ready to Serve

You won’t find a team in the Houston area that is more knowledgeable than ours. We have the experience, training, and expertise to ensure all of your chimney-related needs are addressed before your holiday season really takes off. We’d be happy to help you out soon, so please reach out now!

Waterproofing & Your Chimney

When it comes to keeping your masonry in tip-top shape, investing in a few forms of preventative maintenance can go a long way. Things like chimney caps, chimney crowns, flashing, and more all play a big role in protecting your structure from harmful water damage, and these effective and affordable solutions typically wind up saving homeowners hundreds (sometimes thousands) in repair work.

One thing the crew here at Lords Chimney urges all of our customers to invest in is waterproofing services. Not familiar with how this process works or what it entails? We’ve got you covered! Get the facts below, then reach out to our team with any questions. We are always happy to help.

What Is Waterproofing?

Waterproofing is the process of covering your brickwork and mortar with a light, vapor permeable seal. This coating protects your masonry from rain, sleet, snow, and other forms of moisture without affecting the look or aesthetic of your structure. The products

brick wall with efflorescence

that are used by professional sweeps are known for allowing any pre-absorbed moisture the chance to effectively escape your structure, as well, ensuring things will not continue breaking down from the inside.

Why Is Waterproofing Important?

Now, what many homeowners fail to realize is their strong, sturdy brickwork is actually quite absorbent. The more exposure your masonry has to rains and harsh weather, the more it will break down, meaning you’ll be investing in some expensive professional rebuilding work before you know it. Waterproofing now will save you loads of money down the line!

What kind of damages does waterproofing trigger? Homeowners have noted countless issues from too much water exposure ranging from discolored brickwork to mold growth to rust streaks and more. Not only with it threaten the structural integrity of your setup, but it will make it look much less attractive, as well.

A waterproofed structure will also ensure your brickwork and mortar won’t form holes, gaps, and openings through which smoke, carbon monoxide, heat, and flames can escape into your home. All of these can lead to injury or health issues, and they can cause damage throughout your property, as well.

Finally, waterproofing helps homeowners avoid disasters, such as settlements or collapses. If your chimney starts to crumble and weaken, it may only be a matter of time before it falls down completely, putting your entire home and family members at significant risk. A simple call to our team of experts can ensure you are set up right with the high-quality services you deserve. Let’s get started today!

How Often Should I Invest In This Service?

How often do you need to schedule waterproofing services? Well, it often depends on the products that are being used, but most will need to be reapplied every 5 – 10 years. Here at Lords Chimney, we use ChimneySaver, which comes with a 10 year warranty, so you’ll be good to go for the long haul!

That being said, make sure you invest in care from a qualified technician or you may not get the results you are hoping for. Tackling this as a do-it-yourself job could result in you not getting the most from the products you invest in, and your chimney will suffer as a result.

All About ChimneySaver

Like we said, ChimneySaver comes with a 10 year warranty, but it has many other qualities that make it a top choice for certified sweeps all throughout the nation. This company excels when it comes to setting the standard for all types of chimney products, and everything they sell undergoes testing and research to ensure it really performs out in the field. Chimney companies all over the country trust it year after year because it really delivers!

Help! My Chimney Is Already Leaking!

Is your chimney already experiencing leaks and water-related damages? Well, these are issues you will obviously need to have addressed before applying any waterproofing agents. If your metal components are rusting, if you see or hear water in your chimney, or if you’ve noticed some deterioration throughout your flue, then the time to call in the experts is now!

If you aren’t sure where you stand, the best thing to do is to schedule a chimney inspection. A CSIA certified sweep will have the knowledge, experience, and tools to do a thorough overview and can recommend further services based upon their findings. With the holidays coming up quick, now is a great time to get this maintenance scheduled.

Thanks to services like tuckpointing, crown repair, brick replacement, and more, you’ll have your system working as efficiently and as safely as possible in no time!

Can Lords Chimney Help Me?

So, what can the Lords Chimney team do to resolve problems with leaks and water damage throughout the Houston area? First things first, we are certified to perform all levels of chimney inspections, so you can count on us no matter what state your chimney is in. Then, we can sweep and repair your unit as necessary.

After we’ve got your structure looking and functioning like new again, we can apply preventative measures to keep it protected, including waterproofing services. You deserve peace of mind in the months ahead, and we’re here to provide it. Reach out now, and we can get something scheduled!

Dealing With Chimney Leaks

Nothing is better than a cozy evening in by the fireplace, but leaks and other damages can put a damper on those plans in a hurry. If you’re dealing with a leaky chimney, don’t let it get you down… Instead, call on the CSIA certified team at Lords Chimney! Get what you deserve from a chimney company by counting on us for it all!

Avoiding The Issue

When it comes to a leaky chimney, avoiding the issue is never the route to take. It doesn’t take long for water damage to go from bad to worse, and you could eventually face a chimney settlement or collapse, should you neglect to invest in repairs. Leaks and water damage lead to deterioration and clogs, and using your chimney in light of these damages will put your home and family at some serious risk.

Along with this, your flashing will rust, your woodwork will rot, and cracks, holes, and decay will show up throughout your system. If you want to ensure your chimney stays in good health for years to come, addressing leaks as soon as possible is the way to go.

Luckily, the team at Lords Chimney can help you out! We have the tools and expertise necessary for repairing leaks and keeping them away for good. Count on our expert staff to guarantee you get the fantastic results you deserve!

Solutions For You

There are lots of ways to prevent leaks from occurring again in the future, but first we’ll have to make sure your chimney is fixed up right. We can repair cracks, restore brickwork, patch up flashing, and address any damage to your cap or crown. If your chimney parts are beyond repair and need to be replaced, we can take care of that, too! Count on us to handle it all, so you know you’re good to go from the very beginning.

Next, we’ll make sure you’re set up with everything you need to keep water away for good. You’ll need a proper working chimney cap and chimney crown in place, and you’ll definitely want flashing installed, too. Next, you’ll need to ensure your brickwork stays protected through anything! That’s where waterproofing comes in.

When you invest in our waterproofing services, you can rest easy knowing your brickwork won’t be able to absorb harmful moisture down the line. We use ChimneySaver, which is a protective sealant that blocks water from entering your chimney’s brickwork and mortar. At the same time, it allows your chimney the ability to vent out necessary fumes, vapors, and moisture that was already there.

When it comes to waterproofing, you don’t want to skimp. Basic sealers and paints won’t do an effective job, meaning you’ll waste time and money on nothing. Invest in our services now, so you get the long-lasting results you deserve!

Call Us Today!

If you’re experiencing leaks, then give us a call right away. Getting the problem addressed fast is the most cost-effective option, and it’ll save you lots of time and stress down the line, too. Book your appointment today, so we can get started soon!

Water Damage and Your Chimney

While a faint dripping sound or a little dampness in the firebox after it rains might not seem like a big deal, these seemingly minor issues can cause major problems if left untreated. Because chimneys are constantly exposed to the elements, including rain, ice, and snow, they sometimes deteriorate at a higher rate than the masonry in the rest of a fireplace system. Fortunately, almost all water-related issues are entirely preventable through proper upkeep and maintenance of the chimney structure.


How is the water getting in?

Although a chimney might seem like a straightforward structure, there are actually many different parts that work together to prevent water from entering the fireplace. Because of this, it is important to have any leaks evaluated by a professional who can determine the exact cause of the water entry. With the latest technology, including closed-circuit cameras, the experts at Lords Chimney can find and repair any leaks.

While chimney leaks may be caused by a number of different issues, below are some of the most common causes of water entry.

Masonry damage: Because both bricks and mortar are naturally porous, they absorb a certain amount of moisture. This absorption, combined with the expanding and contracting caused by changing temperatures, can lead to the accelerated deterioration of a masonry chimney. Left unrepaired, what started out as small cracks may progress to the point of bricks falling off and even damage to the chimney liner itself.

Chimney cap: Because they are not visible without being on the roof, chimney cap damage is often not found until an annual sweep or inspection is performed. In addition to keeping water out of the chimney and fireplace, chimney caps also prevent squirrels, birds, raccoons, and other animals from entering and nesting in the chimney.

Flashing: Flashing is the metal band that protects the gap where your roof and chimney meet. While it is meant to create a watertight seal, it can be damaged by nail holes, falling debris, and exposure to the elements.

How to prevent water damage

The best way to protect your home, chimney, and fireplace against water damage is to take the proactive steps to prevent it. One of the most beneficial and long-lasting repairs a homeowner can have done is to have a waterproofing solution applied to their masonry. These specially designed compounds are intended to still allow harmful gasses out without letting moisture in.

An annual chimney cleaning and inspection is another way to prevent small, easily-fixable problems from turning into costly repairs. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

By spotting a problem early, it can be repaired before it causes major damage to the chimney structure or home. The expert technicians at Lords Chimney are highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals who have been trained to identify the source of a leak as well as to repair it. Call them today to schedule an appointment to discover the root cause of your leaky chimney or to ensure that water damage never happens.