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Brick chimney at Masonry Waterproofing & Drainage Masters in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Since brick chimneys are built to withstand extreme heat, many homeowners assume that they’re highly durable and don’t need as much maintenance as the rest of their home. However, without the right upkeep, the masonry in your chimney can slowly wear down and leave you with serious structural and safety problems. 

Rain and humidity are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to chimney damage. But, can you waterproof a brick chimney? Here, the experts at Masonry Waterproofing, and Drainage Masters discuss myths about brick chimney waterproofing and how you can safely protect your chimney from water damage. 

Waterproof Versus Water Resistant

“Waterproof” and “water-resistant” are terms often used when describing the level of protection a product offers against water damage, but they signify different degrees of resistance. Understanding the difference is important when looking at whether it’s possible to waterproof a brick chimney. 

Waterproof means that a product is impervious to water penetration, typically indicating that it can be fully submerged without any water seeping in. On the other hand, water-resistant suggests that while a product can withstand exposure to water to some extent, it is not entirely impervious and may still allow water to penetrate under certain conditions or after prolonged exposure. 

Can You Fully Waterproof a Brick Chimney?

Bricks are a very porous material that naturally dispel a lot of moisture on their own. If you were to waterproof them, you would likely accidentally trap water vapor deep inside the brick, which would exacerbate the exact problem you’re trying to avoid. So, while you can’t really waterproof a brick chimney, you can protect it from moisture by applying a vapor-permeable sealant. 

Vapor-permeable sealants are more water resistant than waterproof, but they prevent the brick from becoming entirely saturated whenever they get wet. This will prevent water damage over time by allowing the bricks to dry out significantly faster than they would without protection. 

Types of Brick Chimney Sealers

Whenever choosing a sealer, be sure to select a product that is specifically created for brick chimneys as the product will need to withstand very high temperatures without emitting dangerous chemicals. That said, a few of the most common types of brick chimney sealers include:

  • Silicone: These are often applied by a brush or a sprayer, and they’re known for their excellent durability. That said, not all silicone sealants are fireproof, so you should consult a professional when determining whether to use a specific silicone product in your chimney.
  • Acrylic: Since acrylic sealants are generally thick, they can’t be applied by brush or a sprayer and usually need professional application. That said, these are incredibly durable and fireproof, so they’re often a great choice for sealing your chimney. 
  • Water-based: These types of sealants are fairly easy to clean and offer great breathability, which can help maintain your brick over time. Not only that, but they don’t emit as many chemicals when curing. 

Signs You Should Weatherproof Your Brick Chimney

Weatherproofing is a great idea for anybody with a brick chimney—even if you have a chimney cap or don’t actively use your fireplace. Chimneys are a crucial structural component of your home, and caps don’t generally do enough to keep water damage at bay. Applying a sealer will preserve your chimney by preventing cracks, leaks, and brick spalling. 

If you already have water damage in your chimney, however, you should consult an expert to determine whether you should make repairs before applying a sealer. Signs of a water-damaged brick chimney include:

  • Efflorescence, or a white powdery deposit that contains salt
  • Cracked, missing, or spalling (peeling) bricks
  • Mortar deterioration

Why Get Professional Chimney Sealing?

If you’ve ever tried cleaning out your chimney on your own, you know just how challenging it is to take care of this part of your home. They’re very hard to reach, and without the right tools, it’s pretty much impossible to handle the job on your own. Unfortunately, sealing your chimney is an even harder task. From identifying and repairing damage to selecting an appropriate product to adequately preparing the surface, there are a lot of steps and it’s easy to make mistakes along the way. 

Working with a professional like those at Masonry Waterproofing, and Drainage Masters will save you time and reduce your risk of a costly error. At Masonry Waterproofing, and Drainage Masters, we strive to make the chimney sealing process as easy as possible to keep your home in excellent condition. To get your free quote, give us a call today!

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Can You Waterproof a Brick Chimney? in Portland OR and Vancouver WA areas

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