Water seepage thru chimney

Help! I noticed water seeping inside thru my chimney during a recent heavy rainstorm. Can anyone suggest how to fix this problem. I was going to use UGL's "DryLok", but it is not available in clear; Thompson's Advanced Multi-surface waterproofer comes in a clear finish- would this do the job? Thanks in advance for any help!!
Dan
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Is there a cap on the chimney? If not start there.
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Yes, there IS a cap! It's seeping thru the brick!

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You need to find the leak , flashing, tuckpointing and concrete caps are most likely the cause. Dont put a sealer on the brick it can retain water and spall the brick when it freezes and affect your tuckpointing repair. Chimneys are the first to go as moisture attacks it from both sides along with nightly freeze thaw cycles. Get a pro or get up there and look, even extremely small hairline cracks in mortar will allow in alot of water in, as will cracks in flashing. It can be an expensive fix if the mortar has deteriorated within.
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Could be bad flashing, or damaged or missing mortar. UGL does not address the problem, nor does Thompsons *anything* as most of their waterproofing is very poorly rated. You really have to examine the roof, the flashing, seams in the cap, and the possibility of driving rains coming into the stack directly. Try running a hose around the base of the chimney where in comes thru the roof - that is a common leak area.
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Check BIA web site. Their Tech Notes section will probably give more info than anywhere else. I would not recommend surface sealants. See Roger Taylor post. TB
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www.bia.org
Besides a stainless steel cap it is actuall a good idea to cap the masonry at the top of the chimney to reduce moisture intrusion into the brick and mortar from the top.

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(with possible editing):

This is not what you want to hear, but I had a similar situation. We have a two flue chimney in our living room which is connected to the living room fireplace. We had a water leak which would manifest itself after either a driving rain or in the winter. We tried to identify the source - first a crack in the top of the chimney. We tried fastplug, then finally covered it with a sheet of aluminum. We replaced all of the flashing, then replaced a few bricks and repointed. Nothing worked. We had every mason in the area look at it and try to fix it. Finally, we tore the top section of the chimney down and replaced it. That worked.
The moral - don't spend too much time and money trying to fix it. If the obvious things don't work, just rip off the top part and rebuild it.
Our experience only. YMMV.
--
Larry
Email to rapp at lmr dot com
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Dan wrote:

It would help if you could be more specific about what happened. Where did the water appear? In the fireplace? Wet spot on the ceiling near the chimney?
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