Keep Water Out of Your Bricks & Mortar With Chimney Waterproofing

Your masonry chimney can hold strong for decades, but only if it’s well-protected and regularly maintained. If you’ve noticed any cracking, spalling, missing bricks, or crumbling mortar, these issues should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the rest of your system, as well as your home.

But what about after these repairs are completed? What can be done to prevent them from recurring after a long rainy season or a few rougher storms? Well, we’ve got a solution – chimney waterproofing.

Combatting the Freeze/Thaw Cycle

As mentioned above, water can do a lot of damage to an unprotected chimney. But one of the biggest threats we face here in the Memphis area is the freeze/thaw process. This is what occurs during the winter months when the water inside of your bricks freezes, expands, and causes cracking to occur throughout your masonry.

Here’s a brief rundown of the process…

  1. Your brickwork is absorbent, so it soaks in any water that it’s exposed to.
  2. All of this moisture settles in where it starts breaking down the masonry.
  3. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water freezes and expands, putting a lot of pressure on your brickwork and causing cracks to form.
  4. When temps rise again, the ice melts, and more water soaks into your brickwork filling in the new cracks that are now present.
  5. Temperatures drop again, and all that new water freezes, expands, and causes even further cracking.
  6. The cycle continues multiple times throughout the winter months – meaning you’ll end your burning season with a lot more damage than you started with.
Stone Brick Chimney view from below

Now, small cracking here and there may not seem like a big deal now, but those minor flaws can add up quick and eventually trigger some major damage. Waterproofing stops this cycle from destroying your chimney, and it is the only way to guarantee your brickwork isn’t continuously soaking in rain, sleet, and snow.

Can I Waterproof My Chimney Myself?

After getting asked what waterproofing is, the next question we usually get is… Can I do it myself?

Short answer? We don’t recommend it. DIY waterproofing with store-bought products usually leads to areas getting missed or overlooked, and many sealers in the market aren’t vapor-permeable, which is a must when it comes to keeping your brickwork in good shape.

What does it mean to be vapor-permeable? It means the products used will still allow your brickwork the ability to breathe. This is important because your bricks have already likely absorbed a lot of moisture, and all that water needs to be able to vent out. Some sealants or paints do an okay job at keeping water out, but they also trap water in, where it continues breaking things down.

In the end, professional waterproofing is the way to go when it comes to avoiding damages and masonry decay. DIY approaches typically lead to further damage down the line, costing you even more money and taking up more of your time. Save yourself the hassle by hiring a pro from the very start.

We’ll Get It Done Right

When done correctly, waterproofing should last you about a full decade, so call on us to get the job done right from the get-go. Questions? We’re happy to answer them. Need any other chimney services or masonry repairs? We can help with that, too.

Call us at 901-443-1036 or set up your next appointment online today.


Installing the right chimney cap could be your first-line defense to prevent or fix chimney leaks.