Spring has sprung and it has brought longer days, blossoming flowers, thunderstorms, and rainfall. It’s the perfect time to make sure that your chimney is doing its job and keeping all that water on the outside of your house – rather than on the inside where it certainly doesn’t belong.

Our team of chimney techs at English Sweep specialize in keeping people’s homes warmer and drier – and waterproofing your chimney is one of the most effective ways to keep your chimney better protected throughout this rainy season. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about waterproofing masonry and, as always, English Sweep has the answers you’re looking for.

Why Is Waterproofing My Chimney Important?

black and white photo of rain falling on brick roadYour chimney has to do a couple of big jobs for keeping your space warm and protected. It needs to 1) allow you to keep a fire inside your home by providing a place for smoke and soot to exit and 2) keep water out of your home by directing rain, snow, and debris away. Because it sits on the front lines of the battle between wet and dry, it is important for your chimney to be reinforced with its own line of defense against water. Cue chimney waterproofing services.

How Can Water Damage My Chimney?

Although it might look impenetrable, brick and mortar is full of tiny pores that absorb water. When moisture takes residence in these pores, it begins to weaken the masonry and over time can become a big problem. This is because of something called the freeze/thaw process.

The freeze/thaw process happens when water fills the little holes in your bricks and mortar. As the temperature drops, the water freezes and expands, pushing the pores further open. When the weather warms up again, the water melts and more water is able to collect. The, the weather freezes again and… the process continues until your masonry is weak and falling apart.

Waterproofing your chimney helps to guard against the freeze/thaw process by preventing water from being able to collect in porous masonry from the start. It is essential for maintaining a strong and impervious defense against water in your home.

How Often Should I Have My Chimney Waterproofed?

How often your chimney needs to be waterproofed is directly related to how well the job is done. A DIY job using offerings available at big box stores may need to be done multiple times a year – if they work at all. A professional job that uses appropriate vapor-permeable formulas and ensures the products are thoroughly applied to all proper structures should last ten or so years.

Keep in mind that this number can vary depending on location and material makeup of the masonry being covered. The professionals at English Sweep are experts in both applying sealants and setting you up on a schedule that will ensure the greatest possible success.

What Is the Best Way to Waterproof a Chimney?

a light-colored masonry chimney with some stainingThe most effective waterproofing jobs will take into consideration a number of variables, such as the materials being covered, the location of the job, wind direction, and sunlight exposure. Here are the most common steps in the process.

  1. Inspect the chimney: It is crucial that the chimney is completely free of damage, cracks, and other issues before being sealed. Repairs that need to be made should be done before sealant is applied. Sealing masonry that is damaged can create more problems than solutions.
  2. Clean the chimney: Another important part of the process is making sure that the chimney is free of debris, soot, and other byproducts of burning. This allows the waterproofing agents direct access to the masonry it’s being applied to.
  3. Choose the right products: There are many products available for waterproofing masonry – however, they are not created equal. Most types available in retail stores are meant for small jobs that can be reapplied multiple times a year. When waterproofing a chimney, it is important that vapor-permeable chemicals that are specifically designed for your type of masonry are used.
  4. Apply the product: Waterproofing materials need to be applied evenly and cover all parts of the chimney. Different products require different types of applications, which means it’s important to know what you are applying – and its specific requirements.

Can I Waterproof My Chimney Myself, or Should I Hire a Professional?

While it is technically possible to do a waterproofing job yourself there are some things you need to think about before taking on the task.

  1. Misapplying sealant or applying it to damaged masonry can lead to further damage, which will require expensive repairs.
  2. Waterproofing masonry can be a dangerous task, and inexperience can make it a long and costly endeavor.
  3. Most people find that hiring a professional for the job will save on expenses in the long run.

Because of this, we always suggest booking with a professional chimney tech.

Give Us a Call

English Sweep is your local expert in chimney masonry waterproofing. Our team of highly trained chimney techs provide homeowners in the St. Louis area with the best possible service and results that stand the test of test.

Our trained and experienced eyes can pinpoint problem areas, repair them, and provide you a top-notch maintenance schedule that will keep your chimney strong and your home dry for the long haul. Call us today at 636-225-3340 or book online to schedule your chimney waterproofing service today.