Popular for hundreds of years, brick chimneys are incredibly durable — which may be one of the reasons they’re often overlooked in home maintenance. But like every other material left in the elements, brick (as well as the internal mechanisms of your chimney) can be damaged by water penetration, causing your bricks to become discolored, the steel in your chimney to rust, and even the wood in your fireplace to rot.
So, if you’ve never waterproofed your chimney before, there’s no better time than now, especially with colder, rainier, snowier months approaching. Not only will waterproofing your chimney ensure the attractiveness of the brick for years to come, but the functionality of its inner workings will be improved as well. Here’s everything you need to know about waterproofing your chimney — just follow these simple steps for a simple and effective job.
1. Choose a dry, temperate day to start waterproofing your chimney. If there’s rain in the forecast, wait until the weather will be clear for at least 24 hours. For best results, seal your chimney when your area will be dry for at least four days.
2. Pressure wash your chimney. For more stubborn stains, use a brush (being careful on a ladder). After washing, wait until your chimney is completely dry.
3. Choose your sealer. Never use paint or any sealer that isn’t designed specifically for brick; brick is a permeable material, so you’ll need to find a sealant that’s completely vapor-permeable, which will let the brick release air as needed. Our Premium Brick Sealer Water Repellent Protection is a great option: its silane siloxane formula is specially designed to repel water from porous brick. Plus, its natural formula makes the product eco-friendly. Decide whether you would rather buy a ready-to-use or concentrate version of our Brick Sealer.
4. To ensure the even coating of your brick sealer, pour the mixture into a hand-pumped garden sprayer. Next, use the hand pump to heavily coat your chimney in the brick sealant, sealing the brick’s pores.
5. Wait until the brick is completely dry; you’ll be able to determine the coat’s dryness by touching it. Once dry, add another coat of brick sealer to your chimney. Make sure your newly-sealed chimney stays dry for at least 24 hours after this second coat, which will ensure your chimney has time to cure.
6. Check to see that your chimney is properly sealed. Ideally, after a four-day curing process, test your sealer. Does water bead off of the brick when dripped onto it? If so, your sealer is set. If not, you may need to apply another coat of sealer for maximum protection.
This straightforward process can ensure the longevity and beauty of your brick chimney for years to come.