Chimney Waterproofing Services: Keep Your Bricks Safer in Hillsborough by Working With Us
Worried about your bricks and mortar in Hillsborough? Whether your system is currently deteriorating and you need it repaired (and then protected) or your masonry is looking great and you want to keep it that way, our techs can help with professional waterproofing and leak prevention services.
Give the Highpoint Chimney Services crew a call today to get started.
What Is Chimney Waterproofing?
Here’s the thing – brick and mortar are naturally very porous. This means they’re prone to soak in any water and excess moisture they’re exposed to, which, as you can imagine, can trigger a lot of issues, like cracking, leak damage throughout your home and chimney, and various other types of structural damage.
We’re not immune to poor weather here in the Central New Jersey area, at times experiencing things like heavy rainfall, snow and blizzards, ice storms, and sleeting (depending on the time of year). Chimney waterproofing services help to guard against all of this by applying a protective sealant to the chimney exterior.
What’s the waterproofing process like?
Professional waterproofing typically involves…
- Cleaning: We’ll usually start by thoroughly cleaning the exterior of the chimney. If dirt, debris, or other materials are present, they may interfere with the waterproofing process and make it less effective. Cleaning may involve using a pressure washer or other cleaning equipment to remove stubborn dirt and stains.
- Repairing: Completing appropriate repairs ahead of time ensures the masonry is in the best condition possible before beginning the process. This may include tuckpointing, brick replacement, crown repairs, or possibly rebuilding parts of the chimney. We’ll also suggest having flashing installed, if you don’t already have it.
- Sealant Application: Finally, we’ll apply our high-grade and industry-approved waterproofing agents to the exterior of your chimney. These are designed to create a barrier that prevents water from entering the chimney, while still allowing the chimney to “breathe” and release any moisture trapped inside.
Overall, chimney waterproofing is an important process for protecting chimneys throughout our area from water damage, and to help prevent leaks, cracks, and other types of damage that water is notorious for causing. With proper maintenance and regular servicing, a waterproofed chimney can stand strong for many years, providing reliable protection throughout it all.
Water Repellent Spray on Bricks
Water Beading on Bricks
Why Is Chimney Waterproofing Important?
Despite being an often overlooked form of maintenance, chimney waterproofing is actually a really important investment for homeowners. Why?
- It prevents leaks. There are lots of ways for water to enter a chimney system and start causing damage – and through the masonry is one of those ways. Waterproofing forms a barrier, giving water one less way to gain access.
- It protects against freeze/thaw. The freeze/thaw process can cause significant damage over the course of a winter season. If water has no way to enter the masonry, though, this process can never start.
- It extends your chimney’s life span. Chimneys that are professionally waterproofed (and that have other forms of leak prevention implemented) are much less prone to damage, which will help to extend the system’s overall life span.
- It improves the value of your home: A home with a working fireplace and chimney can be a hot ticket item for buyers in the market. …but if your chimney is looking broken down and drab, anyone interested is likely going to move onto the next guy pretty quickly.
- It keeps your household safer. A chimney that’s damaged makes your home more susceptible to damage, fires, smoke backup, and gas leaks. Waterproofing keeps water out, so things don’t break down and leave your family vulnerable.
Long story short… chimney waterproofing prevents a whole lot of problems. That said, to ensure that your chimney is properly waterproofed, it is important to work with a qualified chimney tech who is certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and has experience with working with all types of chimneys. Trust our experts from the start.
What Is the Freeze/Thaw Cycle?
The freeze/thaw process is a natural phenomenon that occurs when water freezes and thaws repeatedly in a porous material, such as bricks. Unfortunately, it’s all too common in chimneys throughout the Hillsborough area, when temps repeatedly drop below freezing in the wintertime.
How does the freeze/thaw process work?
Step One: Saturation
Water enters into the pores and cracks of your brick and mortar. This occurs during heavy rains or snowfall, both of which our area is prone to, depending on the time of year.
Step Two: Freezing
Come wintertime, the temperature drops below freezing time and time again throughout the season. This makes the water inside of the brick freeze, and since water expands as it freezes, this puts a lot of pressure on the surrounding materials.
Step Three: Expansion
The expansion of the ice will cause the brick to expand right along with it, creating cracks, holes, and other gaps.
Step Four: Thawing
On days where the temperature rises above freezing, the ice in the brick melts and turns back into water. This means there is now space in the brickwork’s new cracks for more water to enter.
Step Five: Repeat
Every time the temps drop below freezing again, the process repeats, creating more damage with every cycle. Here in Central New Jersey, where sometimes temps go below and then back above freezing multiple times a season – or sometimes multiple times a day – you can only imagine the issues this could create.
How can chimney sweeps stop the freeze/thaw process?
The best way to prevent the freeze/thaw process from occurring is by having waterproofing services completed. That said, if damages are already present, these should be addressed first, ensuring the system is in the best possible condition when the sealant is applied.
Once these services are done, be sure to invest in regular cleanings, inspections, and replacement parts, as needed. A well-working chimney equipped with necessary preventive measures, like a chimney chase, well-built crown, chase cover, proper flashing, etc., will stand up against water much better than one left unprotected.
Should Chimney Waterproofing Be Completed by a Professional?
Technically speaking, chimney waterproofing can be a DIY project. There are even various waterproofing sealants on the market – both online and in stores – that can be purchased for the job. But do we advise tackling this job on your own? As certified sweeps, we know the risks that come with completing these services incorrectly, so no – we strongly encourage our clients in the area to rely on a professional for this service.
Why? There are lots of reasons.
- Safety: This can be a dangerous job, especially if you have a steep roof or are working without appropriate safety harnesses. A professional chimney technician will have the necessary tools, equipment, and training to complete the job as safely as possible.
- Expertise: Waterproofing is actually a specialized skill that requires knowledge of the specific products and techniques that are best suited to each individual chimney. If spots get missed or the wrong products are used, your system will still be vulnerable to the elements.
- Proper Materials: The sealants for this job must be strong enough to keep water out, while still being vapor permeable. It’s important that your chimney can breathe, so that any water that’s already absorbed can eventually get out. Many times, a homeowner will use store-bought products, only to realize later that their system is still breaking down because moisture got trapped inside.
- Proper Preparation: Preparing your chimney is a critical part of waterproofing your chimney. This includes thoroughly cleaning the chimney, as well as repairing any existing damage ahead of time. Professional chimney techs have the tools and experience to set the stage right.
- Warranty Coverage: Many waterproofing sealant manufacturers provide a warranty with their product – if it was applied by a professional. Gain peace of mind knowing that your chimney is protected against water damage for the long haul by trusting a pro from the start.
- Money Savings: While it may seem like completing this project yourself would save you money, it can actually end up being more expensive in the long run. If the waterproofing products are not applied correctly or if the wrong products are used, it can result in costly damage to the chimney.
Ask our techs for assistance from the start, so you can ensure your chimney is protected for years to come. We’d love to help you out soon.
CALL US TODAY 908-864-4114
Chimney Waterproofing FAQs
Chimney waterproofing is a big and important job – and it can come with lots of questions. We’ve addressed a lot of common questions above, but here’s a quick list of some others we tend to get.
What are the most common water-related chimney damages?
- Masonry damage, like missing bricks, mortar deterioration, and cracking
- Damage to the chimney liner
- Rust throughout the metal components, like flashing or chimney caps
- Interior home damage, like wall stains or rotted woodwork
- Mold and mildew growth throughout the home and chimney
- Clogs in the flue, due to broken flue tiles
- A tilted chimney or chimney collapse
How can I spot masonry water damage early?
Watch for discoloration throughout the system (like white efflorescence, mold growth, or black soot stains), pools of water in your firebox, staining on your walls or ceiling, or cracking or deterioration throughout the masonry itself.
You’ll also want to keep your nose open for any musty or damp smells – another clearcut sign that water is making an appearance somewhere it shouldn’t be.
Should I complete repairs first? Or waterproof first?
Definitely have repairs completed by a certified professional before having any waterproofing agents applied. Otherwise, any new materials applied won’t get the coverage they need, and they’ll eventually break down and spread damages.
I don’t see any damage on my chimney… do I really need waterproofing?
Yes! In fact, this is the best way to keep your system damage-free and running well. And remember – just because you don’t see damage, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Oftentimes, chimney damage is well hidden and can only be spotted by a certified sweep during their inspection process.
How can I protect my prefabricated chase from water damage?
Prefabricated chimney chases aren’t made from brick, so waterproofing isn’t really an option for them… So, what can be done? For these, we recommend investing in a high-quality chase cover, so that water doesn’t gain easy access to your chimney’s parts. These covers also work to send water out and away from the sides of the chase, making them less prone to damage.
What’s the best time of year for waterproofing?
We recommend having professional waterproofing services completed in the spring or early summer. Here in the Hillsborough area, we experience cold winters with lots of snow, which can hinder how successful the waterproofing process is.
Essentially, our products need adequate time to soak in and then dry out, all of which would be difficult during snow, ice, and freezing temps.
In addition to all that, we tend to be busier in the fall and winter months, and by booking early in the year, you’ll be able to schedule a lot more conveniently. Come fall, while your neighbors are scrambling to get their chimney care appointments set, your system will be waterproofed and ready to go.
What is vapor permeability & why is it important?
If a material is vapor-permeable it means it can allow water vapor to pass through. This is a must for chimneys, since your brickwork likely absorbed a lot of water before the waterproofing services were complete. By working with a professional for the job, you can rest assured that any products used will be vapor-permeable, so your brickwork can still breath and vent.
We Use Watertite Products
We use products from Watertite for our waterproofing services. Rest assured, when applied by our professionals, these offer the high-quality and long-lasting protection your chimney deserves. Once applied, you won’t need to stress about water-related damages, and if issues do occur because the waterproofing seal was broken, your warranty will cover it.
Trust Us for a Job Well Done
We’ve been serving Somerset County, Hunterdon County, and Middlesex County for years, and our sweeps would love to add you to our list of satisfied customers. Invest in waterproofing services with us, and if you need othe leaky chimney repairs services, we can help with those too.
Give us a call at 908-864-4114 or book with us online today.