One of the most potentially problematic areas of a home can be the chimney. Chimneys are more prone to water damage because they extend above the roof line making them more vulnerable. Water damage is a 1 billion dollar per year problem and many water related issues like efflorescence, freeze/thaw damage, deterioration, and structural failure start with the chimney.
Water damage on a masonry chimney usually results in water infiltration into the home. Water and moisture can deteriorate brick easily when a chimney sealer has not been applied. The unwanted moisture can cause a masonry chimney to crack, break, and crumble. The area where the brick chimney meets the roof is especially vulnerable due to debris buildup like leaves, sticks, and even snow. The debris blocks out the sun allowing moisture to remain underneath.
In colder climates freeze/thaw damage can literally cause the brick to break loose and crumble allowing water to enter your home. Many times the homeowner is unaware of water damage because it is in the attic or behind a wall. Anywhere moisture is present; mold and mildew are soon to follow. Water damage can also cause lost insulation value and wood rot.
Years of moisture penetration can also cause salt deposits on the chimneys surface. This salt deposit formation called efflorescence appears as an unsightly white chalky film on the chimney surface. It can also build up to the point of becoming a much larger problem.
The costly repairs of moisture, water, and freeze/thaw damage can all be avoided by sealing the chimney. A quality chimney sealer will line masonry pores to lock out water and moisture, protect the mortar joints, and prolong the life of the chimney.
Once the brick has been cleaned, make sure the mortar joints and bricks are in good condition. After cleaning and inspecting, simply sealing the brick will waterproof your chimney saving you expensive repairs in the future.
A brick chimney sealer will also reduce the chance of mold, mildew, and salt deposits that become an eyesore and decrease your home’s value. Waterproofing a chimney is well worth the investment and can last for several years. It is a good idea to have your brick chimney inspected every several years and to keep your chimney waterproof by reapplying and high-quality chimney sealant or brick sealer.
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