We specialize in repairing every area of Brick and Hardie chimneys. Specialty experienced contractors do the work. The roofer repairs or replaces the flashing, and our mason does the mortar and brickwork.
In the Texas Gulf Coast Area brick chimneys from the 1970’s and 1980’s are in need of some kind of work. The diagram below shows that leaks could be coming from the top of the chimney (Crown), the middle of the chimney seeping in through old mortar and bricks, or in the flashing located at the bottom. All 3 of these areas must be completely sealed 100% properly to be watertight. This has to be right or it will cost you twice as much later from the water damage later.
TOP OF THE CHIMENY
To seal a chimney you must start from the top and work your way to the bottom. In most cases the chimney crown is made of concrete or has a galvanized metal cap. Concrete tends to crack after baking out in the hot sun and galvanized chase caps always begin to rust after a few years. For the Texas Gulf Coast Area environment we have specialty built stainless steel caps that have lifetime specifications.
If your budget will not allow the stainless chase, we can either rebuild the chimney cap as shown below. The cheapest method we have is a coating over the top of the chimney if the cracks are less than ¼” wide.
We prefer to cover all concrete crowns with a new stainless steel chase that is designed to last a lifetime. Even though this is expensive it gives a lifetime of service with no problems.
If the concrete Crown is made of concrete and has cracks of less than ¼” wide we can apply another top coat on top of the chimney giving you a 5 year warranty.
In some cases the chimney rain cap can have a small leak and can be sealed, and/or replaced. We use only stainless steel rain caps for lifetime use.
Middle of the Chimney
Brick is porous and made to let some water flow through. Any gaps, cracks or holes in the mortar that is dilapidated must be tuck and pointed (Filled in with MORTAR) followed by an application of 2 coats of waterproofing compound. This protects the surface and keeps the water moving down the chimney. This is best left for experienced professionals to match the color of the mortar and make sure the water, sand, cement mixes are all to specification. Water can slip into the smallest of holes and cracks in the wall. The chimney is then cleaned, and all cracks and gaps are chiseled out for new mortar adhesion purposes.
For a new mortar to adhere to the old mortar joints, the sand to mortar mix must be a 3 parts to 1 part ratio. The old loose mortar must be cleaned thoroughly and all cracks and gaps must be chiseled out so that the new mortar will adhere. The surface must be prepared properly and proper materials must be used. Sealant or caulks will not work. After old mortar is removed and the entire wall is tuck pointed we install 2 coats of Waterproofing Membrane to help keep that water running down the house.
Bottom of the Roof (Flashing)
Even if you have a new roof the flashing can have issues and cause leaking. Most roofers do not change the flashing on their roof jobs. Putting shingles down is great but when a roof has a problem it’s usually from flashing, apron or a dormer that is old and rusted.
The most economical way to seal the bottom of the chimney is to use the Seal and Fiberglass method and create a elastomeric boot all the way around the chimney from the shingles on the roof all the way up to the bricks on the chimney. This can only be done if there is a obvious problem we can see.
Otherwise we have to take out all the old flashing and rotten wood and rebuild. We use a professional experienced roofer repair or replace your flashing. We use step flashing first, and then use counter flashing over the top. You can see in the photos below how we put the counterflashing into the brick.