Brick Sealant

I had a leaky fireplace chimney and it turned out that was water was actually going thru the brick of the chimney. A guy came out and sealed the brick with some brush-on stuff that is clear and undetectably from looking at my chimney from the ground. He is long gone now and the stuff is still working. What is that stuff he coated it with?
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pc wrote:

There are many possible products, you are going to have to find him to figure out which one. It should have been a masionary water repelent. You don't want to use a water proofer.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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Water doesnt go through brick and leak, you have bad mortar joints, or a bad cap or flashing, you need someone else to look at your problem. It can be difficult to locate the problem area on chimneys
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Mark,     That is exactly what I thought. I fought and fought with my roofing contractor over this and was certain that bad flashing was to blame. He told me that it was my brick and that water went right throught it. He proved it to me by taking my water hose up on the roof, trickling it over the brick on the side of the chimney while I was in the attic watching it come right on through. He further proved it to me by hiring that guy I mentioned who put the "sealant" on which, beleive it or not, did cure the leak. I was as suprised by this as anyone but have since told many people about who reply 'oh, ya, everyone knows that brick does not stop water'     And thats why I want to know what the stuff is. I'd coat my whole house with it so long as its relatively invisible and it doesnt make it look like my house is coated with something. Because if it leaked through my chimney, maybe its leaking somewhere else that I dont know about.... yet!
mark Ransley wrote:

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Chimneys are subjected to all the weather and deteriorate from the inside and outside , the freeze thaw cycle that happens daily here in the winter is hard on them. Brick doesnt leak like that unless it is possibly bad. Id still say its your mortar ,you only need a hardly visible hairline crack to allow in water. Get a few tuckpointers to look at your house some with alot of experiance, Ive repaired alot of chimneys and damage may be hidden by a tuckpointing job. Leaks will turn the internal mortar to sand. Ive taken out one inch good face mortar and found the next foot, or through the complete chimney is like sand. Because of years of leaking and bad tuckpointing jobs. How old is your house, how long have you owned it
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Mark,     Thanks for your replies, you sound very knowledgable on this subject. The house is 5 years old and in Dallas so although we have had freezes, they are few and far between. Yes, the mortar could be the cause of the leak and not the actual brick - I really dont know. What is tuckpointing? I didnt have a leak that I know of until I had a new roof put on (because of hail damage). That is why I figured it was the roof or flashing that was causing the leak. the roof man argued with me about this, then I stood in the attic while he ran the hose water over the brick on the outside. I couldnt tell where exactly the leak was but could see water comming into the attic. The so-called sealant stopped the leak - I dont know how though but it is just as likely that it sealed the mortar as it sealed the brick.
Thanks!
mark Ransley wrote:

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The more I read that the more I think it was the flashing. If he was pouring water on the brick, would it not also go over the flashing, which if defective would leak? I would think it would take some time for the water to go through the brick.
Tuckpointing is repairing the mortar between the bricks.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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If it was the flashing, then applying a coating of something by brush to the brick would not have solved the problem - which it did. (right?) I know - I thought it was flashing at first too. The point at which the water was applied to the brick, did cause the water to run down the chimney and over some flashing. But the Flashing at that point seemed to be, by physical examination, very good.
Thanks!
Joseph Meehan wrote:

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Maybe maybe not.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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You mention roofer ,did you get a new roof. Did your roofer put on new flashing, or leave the old. A 5 year old chimney without the freezes we have in the midwest wont have internal problems as we get. I was also refering to 70 yr old chimneys, so you problem is either the cap , the mortar or flashing. A hairline mortar crack will let in water, one that doesnt look bad but maybe a thin sharp knife can slip into . Still an experienced chimney man is best, call a few people and get them up on the chimney and get a few estimates. Problems like this can be real hard to find , and you will get different answers, but keep looking.
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Look at this site: it is one of the better brands often recommended by architects: http://www.prosoco.com/ProductList.asp?m=3&i=5
I have used this product extensively with good results: http://www.chemicalproductsokc.com/water_repellents.htm
You can also look up siloxane, silane, silicone.
Here is a site to buy and download more than you will ever want to know: http://www.masonryinstitute.org/book.php?catID=2&pID=8
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