Chimney protection can seem like a daunting task, but taking the extra step with every repair you do to you chimney will add up over time. Going that extra mile in protecting your chimney each time an issue arises, as with all other aspects of good home ownership, will pay off.

Spalling Brick
After repairing this brick, applying a quality, breathable water repellent will help to prevent the need for this repair again.

Take, for example, a brick repair project. It could be located anywhere on the home. You may need to actually cut out and replace brick on the home or merely repair mortar joints by tuckpointing or even simply seal some cracks in the brick using a silicon sealant and. No matter what type of repair is necessary, the fact that the repair was needed at all is an indication that the brick there is vulnerable to more damage for whatever reason. It might be that the design of the home has water running over this particular spot in excess, causing damage, or water may be able to pool there, causing freeze thaw damage. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to protect this repair and the surrounding brick which is also at risk by using a water repellent over the area. ChimneySaver water repellents come in various formulas specially formulated for your specific chimney need. The reason we recommend this brand over other water repellents is because it has been formulated to withstand increased weather damage because the chimney is offered no protection like the rest of the structure of the home; it reaches up above the roof line.

Another place a homeowner should not cut corners is when installing a chimney cap. By spending a little extra money on a stainless steel chimney cap as opposed to any other metal or a black painted chimney cap, you will save yourself extra work down the road. A black painted chimney cap will almost always cause stains on the chimney itself. Over time heat from the chimney combined with the elements will cause some of the color to

run down the chimney and stain it. Metal chimney caps that are not stainless steel will almost always rust out before the end of their useful life. This presents the danger of rust

Stainless Steel Chimney Cap
When installing a chimney cap in this or any other style, you want to consider using a bit of silicon to prevent it from flying off in strong wind.

staining the top of your chimney and the danger of the chimney cap itself losing its integrity and allowing critters to enter it. A little bit of adhesive or silicon goes a long way when installing a chimney cap. Using just a little will further prevent the cap from flying off on a very windy day, saving you the hassle of either having to go up and reinstall it yourself (if it was not damaged when it hit the ground) or having to pay a professional to come out and do it for you.

As you can see, a little goes a long way, whether it be a little extra cash for a quality product or a little extra labor in the form of applying a bit of silicon when installing your cap or preventing further damage with an application of water repellent over a repair. These are all things to consider when you are going through any home improvement.

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

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Clay Lamb

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