You might not have a chimney leak, but this does not mean that you do not have to waterproof the chimney. Many people ignore this, and only think about it when they start to see signs of moisture in the home. You have to remember that constant exposure to the weather puts a lot of pressure on the structure. A minor expenditure today can keep you from spending more to repair major damage to the chimney and your home later on. You can keep this problem and the associated costs at bay simply by waterproofing the chimney.
The Chimney Cap
One of the simplest ways to keep water out of the chimney is to add a chimney cap. This keeps rainwater from getting into the opening where it can cause several problems. The flue can begin to rust, which can prevent it from opening and closing easily. Water can soak the creosote, creating a bad smell.
This offers great protection for the structure, but you should not just go out and buy the first one you come across. Chimney sealants vary in terms of quality, but you should make note of specific features to make sure you get your money’s worth.
You will need to know the surface area of the structure so you can get the right amount of sealant. Roofing tiles and shingles can be discolored by the chemicals, so protect the area around the chimney with a drop cloth.
Do not apply sealant to the chimney if there are any cracks, or if there is spalling. You can buy a sealant product that also fills cracks, and this will make the entire process easier. Pay attention to the mortar joints when checking for signs of damage. Even if you want to waterproof the chimney yourself, you will need a professional to carry out repairs.
Here is one of the most important factors to remember; a good sealant must be breathable. It must allow any moisture that is already in the mortar to evaporate. Otherwise, it will be trapped inside, and when winter arrives you will have yet another problem to deal with. In just a few years you could be looking at thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
If there is any doubt, talk to your chimney sweep when it is time for your next inspection. Professionals in the field will know which products are best for your chimney. Give us a call here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service at 610-626-2439 and we’ll schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA Certified chimney sweeps to ensure that your chimney is clean and in proper working order.