Had the local chimney sweeps out today. They did their routine
inspection and came back with a few things "wrong" with the chimney that
they could take care of me.
The one that I need help with is the brick/mortar sealant. According to
the chimney guys, I've got some spalling going on, and the bricks and
mortar need to be resealed. He cautioned against using "typical
silicone sealants" because he says those trap some moisture inside the
bricks, and when the chimney heats up, the trapped water can cause real
damage. Instead, he said that the right product is a water based
sealant that will repel new water but allow the moisture inside to
Something might have gotten messed up in the translation, but basically
his point seems valid. The chimney is 35 years old, after all, and to
the best of my knowledge, hasn't had any work done on it other than the
Any thoughts as to what products are available to DIY-er for this
purpose? Looking for specific recommendations if possible.
Thanks in advance!
It seems that you resisted his call to sell you his particular brand of
snake oil, that's good. Now further resist the urge to muck with your
chimney. Good masonry does not need any sort of sealing, and if the
masonry isn't good, then sealing will only prolong the inevitable a little
That the chimney is 35 years old with no problems indicates that the
masonry is sound. If things are finally deteriorating, find a good mason
to do the work so that it will last at least another 35 years with out you
having to do anything to it. If you've got spalling bricks you've got to
find out what's causing that (likely the mortar needs to be repointed),
fix that and whatever damage may have been done the right way.
Remove the dead poet to e-mail, tho CC'd posts are unwelcome.
Ask me about joining the NRA.
My Chimney was built over 12 years ago. The mason returned a couple of
months later to apply a silicone sealant. My assessment is that it was
worthwhile because today it looks just as it did when new. The cost for
the sealant application was apparently part of his original very
reasonable bid. No extra cost.
I would get a mason's opinion. Look for an ad that specifies that he
does repairs. Or call a big masonry contractor and ask who they use
to fix mistakes or point big jobs up. That is the guy you want
looking at your chimney.
Thanks to all who replied.
It's lasted 35 years, so I'm going to let it go until spring. When the
weather warms, I'll go up there myself and see if the chimney guys was
just "blowing smoke." If it looks like there is any real problem, I'll
call in a mason and have it done right.
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