The 3 Most Important Parts of Your Chimney Exterior...
The Crown is your Chimney's first line of defense against unwanted moisture. A cracked or deteriorated crown allows water to enter the Chimney and begin the cycle of deterioration.
If these issues are detected early, a weather proofing sealer can be applied to the Crown, filling open cracks and coating the entire Crown with a durable watertight membrane that will last for years. This Preventative Maintenance solution often saves Homeowners thousands of dollars in costly repairs over the lifetime of their Chimney.
Once moisture has entered the Masonry (brick, block or stone) it can cause further deterioration of the mortar joints and damage to the Masonry units themselves. If left untreated for too long, this Water Penetration can also find its way into the interior of the house.
Fortunately, even if your Chimney's been saturated for many years it can still likely be saved. Applying a specialty Masonry Water Repellent is hands down one of the best things Homeowners can do to ensure their Masonry Chimneys stay upright and dry for years to come. This treatment does NOT change the appearance of your Chimney.
Never Paint or permanently Seal your Chimney! This traps moisture and does little to protect the Masonry. Only use Masonry Water Repellents designed specifically for Chimneys. They allow any trapped moisture to escape from the inside out, drying the Chimney over time.
Lead Flashing is designed to protect the roof opening at the base of your Chimney from Water, Ice and Snow. It's held in place by the masonry above. If deterioration has occurred in the Masonry, some sections of the Lead Flashing could be loose or missing entirely. This is obviously a major source of Water Penetration and it's resulting damage.
This is by far the most common area for leaks to occur. Silicone can be used as a temporary fix but the issues are likely to come back. We of course recommend applying a weather proofing sealer that fully encases the Flashing entirely. This is the only way to guarantee any weak points are filled and the leaks won't come back.
Squirrels are known to bite and damage Lead Flashing, using pieces to build their nests. If you notice a lot of Squirrel activity in your neighborhood it's worth checking your Flashing.