What Causes Water Damage?
Any water penetration can cause substantial damage to the entire chimney system. This is because the masonry is constructed of many materials, all of which are adversely affected by water. The moisture can come from snow or rain. It can drop into the chimney flue or penetrate the flashing. Once the water penetrates the masonry it undergoes a cycle of freezing and thawing. The water freezes, expands, and damages the masonry. Afterwards, it melts, moves further into the masonry, then repeats the process by freezing again. This freeze/thaw cycle repeats throughout the winter as the chimney warms and cools. By spring there may be catastrophic damage.
Why Doesn’t My Chimney Keep Water Out?
Your chimney is designed to be porous to allow vapors and heat to escape through the structure as well as through the flue opening. Unfortunately, this characteristic also allows environmental moisture into the chimney. In decades past there wasn’t anything to be done to prevent water intrusion other than chimney caps. However, for years now industry professionals have had access to waterproofing formulas that prevent water penetration.
Won’t the Sealant Mess Up My Ventilation?
No. This specially designed sealant is formulated in such a way that gaseous vapors are allowed to escape, while water particles are kept out. This sealant is only safely applied by a certified chimney sweep and should not affect your chimney system except to improve it.
What Else Can Be Done?
Other than the waterproofing sealant, a certified chimney sweep can also check your chimney cap and flashing . This is to ensure that it is in proper working order and will keep the moisture out, especially during the coming months of spring showers. During an annual chimney inspection your technician will also inspect the chimney crown. Sometimes the crown can develop cracks and deterioration that results in a leak. If your chimney sweep finds damage to the crown in time it can be repaired with a sealant, instead of replacing it completely.
When Should I Have My Chimney Waterproofed?
The best time for RMR to waterproof your chimney is during your chimney sweep or inspection. If your inspection indicates a need for masonry repairs, those will need to be completed before the waterproofing is done. Anytime your chimney needs repairs, they should be completed as soon as possible.
Of all the things that can go wrong with your chimney system, water penetration is the worst. It does the most damage in the shortest amount of time, other than a natural disaster like an earthquake or tornado. Water wreaks havoc on masonry. You can prevent this type of damage and save yourself a substantial amount of money in repairs later. Schedule to have your chimney waterproofed. Let an RMR technician assist you today! Call (847) 290-1883.