Our Company Blog

Waterproofing Your Chimney

To be sure your chimney does not suffer from spalling damage during the winter, it is important to have your chimney waterproofed. Water can cause so much damage and deterioration to masonry chimneys that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends protecting your chimney with various water penetration preventive measures, including waterproofing. The summer is the perfect time to waterproof your chimney, and Aelite Chimney Specialties can take care of this preventive task for you. We would like to tell you more about how water damages your chimney and how waterproofing can protect your chimney from deterioration.

What is spalling damage?Waterproofing and Spalling Damage - Chicago IL - Aelite

The bricks and mortar of your chimney are naturally porous, which means they absorb water from rain, ice, and snow. In the winter, any water that is trapped inside the masonry materials will freeze and expand whenever the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When the weather warms back up, the water thaws out, and its force can cause the bricks and mortar to crack and break apart. This is spalling damage, and if this damage is left unrepaired, you could end up with serious structural issues, including the collapse of your chimney. Aelite Chimney Specialties has years of experience in masonry repairs, and we can replace any damaged or missing bricks and mortar joints to restore the soundness of your chimney’s structure.

How does waterproofing protect my chimney from spalling damage?

Waterproofing creates a barrier against water penetration and absorption. Aelite Chimney Specialties uses a waterproofing formula that is 100 percent vapor permeable, which means vapors can escape from the bricks and mortar. When we waterproof your chimney, we clean the exterior of the chimney by scrubbing away any mold, loose dirt, and debris and washing off any stains. We then apply the waterproofing formula to your entire chimney to protect it from water penetration. Waterproofing prolongs the life of your chimney and saves you the expense of masonry repairs. Your chimney will also be protected from efflorescence and other stains, and waterproofing also discourages the growth of mold, mildew, and other types of fungus.
Waterproofing your chimney is a good investment to keep your chimney working safely and efficiently. Aelite Chimney Specialties also provides other types of water penetration preventive services, including chimney cap and flashing repair and installation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to prolong the life of your chimney by preventing water damage.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Waterproofing Your Chimney

The Significance of a Top-Sealing Damper

Do yourself and your chimney a favor by having a top-sealing damper installed. Save, protect, and be safe.

Do yourself and your chimney a favor by having a top-sealing damper installed. Save, protect, and be safe.

Energy savings. Surely everyone likes to save money whenever possible. Right? Chimney dampers, for many, are just the way to help with those high heating bills. The main purpose of a damper is to seal the chimney airtight when it’s not in use. Heat rises, and if the chimney isn’t sealed when the fireplace isn’t in use, all of the heat in the house goes up the chimney. Liken this to leaving your door open in the middle of winter. You wouldn’t do that, so why settle for a throat damper that doesn’t seal properly. Dampers are one part of your chimney that you shouldn’t leave to function inadequately.

The Job of a Top-Sealing Damper

A top-sealing damper is installed at the top of your chimney to seal the flue shut when the fireplace is not in use. They create an almost airtight seal at the top of your chimney and keep energy in your home. The top sealing chimney damper’s design is two-fold: it stops cold air from coming down the flue while at the same time prevents expensive conditioned air from going up. Top sealing dampers are usually installed in damper repair situations where the original damper is missing or beyond simple repair. The damper itself keeps critters and rain out very well when the fire is out and in the offseason. Top dampers also keep out most insects (flies, bees, mosquitoes, etc.).

How a Top-Sealing Damper Functions

These dampers are designed to make your fireplace more energy efficient by sealing the flue at the top rather than at the bottom. Sealing at the top keeps the cold air out and your warm air in and causes an automatic updraft in the flue when opened, meaning you won’t have to warm the flue first. Top sealing dampers are operated by a control mounted in the firebox and connected to the damper itself by a cable or chain. They are often an economical alternative to replacing a rusted out of warped throat damper.

Why Buy a Top-Sealing Damper

Top sealing dampers help you save energy dollars, protect your chimney from damaging water and other elements, prevent animal infiltration, and provide year-round protection for your chimney. When closed, it serves as a chimney cap and the silicone gasket provides a more airtight seal than a metal-to-metal throat damper. These dampers are specifically designed for wood burning masonry fireplace flues and should not be used for other applications.

It is strongly recommended that you have your top-sealing damper installed by a certified chimney specialist. We’ve completed countless numbers of jobs like this over the years and are at the ready should any chimney issues arise during the installation process. If you’re in the market for a top-sealing damper, give us a call to see how we can help. You won’t be disappointed.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on The Significance of a Top-Sealing Damper