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Our chimneys are built to last against the toughest mother nature has to offer. Unfortunately, constant exposure to changing temperatures, sun, and moisture can cause masonry to deteriorate over time. To keep your chimney in good condition for years to come, consider having it waterproofed. Waterproofing is preventative maintenance that can stop water damage before it happens. In addition, keep existing water damage from getting worse.

Waterproofing - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganWhat is waterproofing?

Bricks are a semi-porous building material. This makes them ideal for chimney construction, because gas can freely pass through. It also means that small amounts of water can be absorbed by the masonry.

Even minuscule amounts of absorbed water can be damaging to your chimney. In cold temperatures, trapped water in masonry can freeze and expand. As the weather warms, the ice thaws and leaves behind a bigger hole or crack in the bricks. Known as the freeze thaw process, it is extremely damaging to masonry. Also, it can impact chimney stability in as little as a single winter.

However, there are ways that homeowners can protect their chimneys against water damage. One of the most common ways to protect against water intrusion and leaks? Have your chimney waterproofed. During the waterproofing process, a masonry specific water protectant is applied to the bricks and mortar, chimney crown, and other vulnerable chimney components. These protectants keep new water from being absorbed. Plus, they extend the life of your chimney, and even keep existing water damage from getting worse.

Protectants versus sealants.

Paints and other clear coat sealants are very different from masonry sealers. Because of this, only masonry specific water protectants should be used on your chimney. Traditional sealants – including latex paints – create a solid, waterproof layer on top of the masonry. In addition to keeping moisture out, it also prevents trapped moisture and gas from evaporating through the bricks. This means that the damaging freeze thaw process can continue, even after paint or sealant is applied. Bubbling paint on a chimney is often the result of trapped water and gas trying to evaporate and having nowhere to go.

According to, chimney water protectants are unique in that they create a vapor permeable layer over the masonry. This is extremely important for the overall condition of the bricks and mortar. It allows water and gas to pass through the masonry without letting new water be absorbed into the bricks.

Our waterproofing products:

As CSIA certified chimney professionals, we understand the products that are best for your chimney and fireplace system. Not all waterproofing products are created equally. Because of this, only products specially designed for masonry should be used on your chimney.

We recommend and use ChimneySaver water protectants. Specially formulated for use on your chimney’s masonry, these products can extend the life of your fireplace system and help prevent many of the problems associated with chimney leaks.

Waterproofing your chimney can protect it against future water damage – and keep chimney leaks from ruining your fireplace this winter. For more information about having your chimney waterproofed, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

3 Ways Water Damages Chimneys

Water is the source of life, but not for chimneys. It can cause so many chimney-related issues. See to it that water doesn't seep in and cause problems.

Water is the source of life, but not for chimneys. It can cause deterioration and different kinds of issues. See to it that water doesn’t seep in and cause problems.

If your chimney springs a leak (or 10), it will quickly respond by beginning to deteriorate. That is why those of us at Clean Sweeps & Air Duct Cleaners of Michigan recommend doing your best to prevent chimney leaks and responding as soon as possible if you or your chimney sweep have detected a leak. Why? Chimney leaks can be very costly to repair because they quickly spread to adjacent areas like walls, ceilings, and floors and because they grow exponentially worse over time.

Unfortunately, even well-built chimneys may eventually leak. The key to preventing this is regular maintenance—we recommend annual inspections and sweepings—which will ensure that your chimney receives regular attention from a C.S.I.A. trained professional. Our chimney sweeps actually utilize a 25-Point Leak Inspection process to identify the source of the leak and locate any damage that may have been done.

There are many ways in which water can attack the efficiency, safety, and performance of your chimney, including the three following:

Water destroys chimney masonry.

We have seen moisture have numerous negative effects on chimney brick and order, including gapping, spalling, cracking, staining, and crumbling. Once needed masonry repairs have been made, we recommend applying a waterproofing agent to your chimney to keep it protected and sealed in future years.

Water cracks or rusts important components.

If a chimney component such as a cap, damper, or flashing was improperly installed or if an inferior material was used, it may have rusted or broken, allowing water into the chimney. Often times we can repair faulty components, though we may need to completely replace a part if the quality is not good.

Water creates mold and/or mildew.

The existence of damp, musty odors is a pretty sure sign that your chimney has become the unwitting home to mold or mildew, which notoriously destroys the surfaces where it takes root. Mold can also be harmful to your health, not to mention foul smelling. Mostly, though, mold in or around your chimney indicates the presence of water, which can only mean that damage is already taking place in your chimney and will likely grow worse.

Our technicians at Clean Sweeps & Air Duct Cleaners of Michigan will be able to quickly and correctly detect the source of your leak and repair it for the long haul so that you can get back to using your chimney with confidence. Have a leaky chimney and live in the Jackson or Ann Arbor area? Call us today at 517-783-4560 if you live in Jackson or 734-668-4780 if you live in Ann Arbor.

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