This post was most recently updated on January 30th, 2023
Update for 2023: How to Seal a Chimney
In this updated article, we explain How to Seal a Chimney. If you have encountered any issues and have any suggestions or have any questions, please comment below.
One of the most problematic areas of a home is the chimney. Water and moisture can cause scaling, deterioration, spalling, water intrusion in the home, and freeze/thaw damage. Waterproofing and sealing a chimney can be vital to its structural integrity.
Before sealing a brick chimney, clean the surface with a brick cleaner to remove all curing compounds or visible stains such as mold, mildew, efflorescence, or rust. The chimney should be clean and free of dirt, oil, dust, and any unwanted contaminants. For severe mold, mildew, fungus, or algae use a bleach solution.
When dealing with a chimney, it is important to practice safety and never get on a ladder or roof without the proper knowledge and experience. Wear chemical-resistant gloves and safety glasses when handling cleaning solutions.
Protect surrounding plants and shrubbery with a tarp or plastic cover. Apply the cleaning solution with a brush, garden sprayer, or pressure washer. Allow the cleaner to dwell for a few minutes on the surface. Use a scrub brush or pressure washer to wash the brick thoroughly, starting at the top and working down. Be careful not to use excessive pressure when using a pressure washer or you can damage the mortar joints. Rinse well with fresh clean water and allow the surface to dry completely. Additional heat can be applied to facilitate sufficient drying time.
Apply a brick and chimney sealer evenly using a siphon pump, bulk sprayer, or pump-up sprayer. Follow the manufacturer’s coverage guidelines to determine the amount of sealer for the project. The coverage rates will vary slightly depending on the type of brick and porosity. Soak the surface well to ensure complete saturation. When using a sprayer, follow up with a brush or roller to even out the sealer and reduce excess that may cause runs and drips. Once the entire chimney is sealed, allow the proper drying time as directed by the manufacturer.
Learning how to seal a chimney is not hard if you follow these simple guidelines and all the manufacturer’s guidelines on the cleaning solutions and chimney sealers. Protecting your brick chimney is certainly a money-saving investment. A quality chimney sealant will provide years of protection from deterioration, water damage, and premature costly repairs.
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing, concrete sealing, and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior restoration. Scott and his restoration Michigan company have restored over 10,000 projects in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the restoration industry and has contributed to numerous restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.