If you’re wondering whether you should use a chimney sealant, you may have already seen evidence of moisture damage in your masonry chimney. To better understand if you should use a chimney sealant on your masonry chimney, let’s take a closer look at moisture damage.
What makes masonry chimneys so vulnerable to moisture damage? The mortar and bricks, cement blocks, or stone are absorbent due to being porous. Things that are porous have what is known as capillary action. Capillary action is common in nature among sponges and wood, which can absorb moisture easily. You might know capillary action by its better-known name, “wicking.” When your masonry chimney wicks in moisture, it holds it as a sponge would. When winter comes around, the freeze-thaw cycle causes the moisture to expand and contract, loosening mortar around the stones, bricks, or blocks, which could lead to your masonry chimney crumbling and collapsing. It’s clear that moisture is a considerable problem for masonry chimneys; in most cases, chimney sealant is the solution to moisture issues.
A chimney sealant is a coating created to block moisture while simultaneously allowing vapor to escape from the inside; this lets your masonry chimney breathe rather than hold moisture. Chimney sealants are made from one of two things- polyurethane or silicone and may be brushed, sprayed, or troweled. A qualified chimney sweep should apply a chimney sealant rather than trying it yourself. A qualified chimney sweep will understand how many coats are required and what type of chimney sealant will be most effective.
The fact that you are considering having a chimney sealant applied to your chimney means that you are interested in preserving your chimney, or you suspect it’s already damaged. Let’s look at a few common indications of moisture damage in your masonry chimney.
If you have any of the previous three issues listed on your chimney, it could already be past the point of no return and might need to be fixed by a qualified chimney sweep.
A chimney sealant applied to a new masonry chimney is an outstanding way to undertake preventative maintenance. A chimney sealant shields a chimney from moisture for approximately ten to fifteen years which prolongs the life of your chimney. If coats of chimney sealer are applied in ten-year intervals will keep your chimney in excellent shape.
Maybe your chimney is just beginning to exhibit signs of moisture damage; it’s likely too late for a chimney sealant to help. Hairline cracks and slightly eroded mortar can still be coated with a sealer to slow or stop the progression of the damage. However, if your chimney has bricks, stones or blocks missing and the mortar has deteriorated, your chimney will probably need repairing. Once your chimney has begun to fall apart, it’s only a matter of time before it collapses. After a masonry chimney has been refurbished, it can be coasted with a chimney sealant to bolster and sustain the repairs.
To fully understand if a chimney requires sealing or repair, an assessment by a certified chimney inspector will be needed. A qualified chimney inspector can find issues with your chimney the layman will overlook. For the benefit of your home and its safety, you should have your chimney inspected annually; additional problems may be present.
If you believe your masonry chimney is moisture damaged, or you want the assurance that your chimney is protected from moisture, we can help. Contact us today; a member of our experienced and friendly staff will be happy to discuss sealing your masonry chimney.