According to the Brick Industry Association, chimneys require special attention and maintenance to prevent costly damage caused by water penetration. Because chimneys project above the roof line, they are vulnerable to the elements. Nearly every chimney you encounter has signs of water damage! The first step is to determine the cause and then find the best corrective measures. ChimneySaver, the first product developed specifically for chimneys, has been used successfully by leading chimney professionals for nearly 20 years. It reduces water penetration into the masonry by 99.9%, according to ASTM tests conducted at the University of Wyoming.
It’s also 100% vapor permeable, which means it won’t trap water vapors that may pass through the bricks when the chimney is in use, unlike other products found in most hardware or home improvement stores. When applied to a masonry chimney, those products can actually slow down water vapors as they pass through the chimney, which leads to water damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ChimneySaver?
ChimneySaver is a concentration of a proprietary modified polysiloxane which was specifically designed for chimneys. ChimneySaver is the leading water repellent addressing the vapor permeable needs of chimneys and the severe weather conditions to which they are exposed.
What is the difference between ChimneySaver and other water repellents?
Since ChimneySaver is a photo-reactive chemical that does not depend on solids to achieve a water repellent effect, the surface remains vapor permeable. ChimneySaver is composed of 100% active ingredients which physically and chemically react with a surface. After a treated masonry surface has been exposed to ultraviolet light, the electrostatic charge of the surface is reversed to match the electrostatic charge of water. This photo-reactive process allows the treated surface to repel water similar to the way two identical poles of a magnet repel each other.
Most waterproofing agents are actually water sealers, which trap water vapors produced inside the chimney. If this water vapor cannot escape it will condense, freeze and accelerate freeze/thaw damage. Our water repellent does not evaporate or wash out and it consistently outperforms and outlives resins, silicones, acrylics, silanes and siloxanes.
What are the benefits of ChimneySaver?
ChimneySaver prevents spalling, stains, chloride attack, freeze/thaw damage, loss of insulation value, deterioration, corrosion, efflorescence, and the damaging effects of acid rain and other waterborne chemicals. The product penetrates and bonds with the surface of concrete, masonry, stucco and other porous materials to provide long lasting water repellent protection even at hairline cracks.
Is ChimneySaver a surface coating?
No. ChimneySaver has an extremely small molecular structure which allows it to penetrate up to 1/4 inch or more and bond with treated surfaces.
Is ChimneySaver resistant to deterioration caused by ultraviolet light?
Yes. ChimneySaver is activated by ultraviolet light, while most water repellents break down under ultraviolet rays.
Will ChimneySaver continue to bead water for the entire service life of the product?
ChimneySaver’s initial beading effect usually subsides within a year and is unrelated to the long term effectiveness of the product. ChimneySaver penetrates deeply into a surface and is more like an applied force than a surface coating. In time, the electrostatic charge produced by the treated surface will migrate slightly inward. This action, combined with exposure to microscopic solids in the atmosphere which form a thin film of dirt on the exterior surface, will eventually lessen the beading effect.
This will allow surface wetting into the first 1/100 of an inch of a treated surface. However, upon examination of a cross section of that surface, it is apparent that there is no deep internal water penetration. For the benefit of comparison, if a portion of a surface is left untreated next to a treated section, the untreated section will appear much darker when wet due to deep water penetration.
Can spalling still occur after treatment?
Yes. When water penetrates brick, and then freezes, a process of delamination begins. Even though water penetration can effectively be stopped with ChimneySaver, no product can restore delaminated bricks. Therefore, flaking or spalling may occur after treatment as a result of previous water damage. If continued spalling or flaking is noticed a year after the initial treatment, a second treatment may be necessary to insure proper protection.
Will ChimneySaver stop basement leaks?
No. ChimneySaver is not designed for below-grade application.
Can you apply ChimneySaver over a painted surface?
This is not recommended. Paint fills the pores of a surface and prevents ChimneySaver from penetrating.
Can you paint over a surface treated with ChimneySaver?
Yes, but an oil-based primer should be used to compensate for the water repellency. Many paints (especially latex) will not adhere properly to a surface that is water repellent. It is recommended that a test application on an inconspicuous area be done first.
Can ChimneySaver be applied to a surface that has previously been treated with another waterproofing agent?
Many waterproofing products lose their effectiveness within the first year. A test patch is recommended to see whether ChimneySaver will penetrate the surface.
Can you apply ChimneySaver on stained or dirty surfaces?
Yes. However, stains are very difficult to remove after treatment due to the protective nature of the product.
Will ChimneySaver damage asphalt shingles?
An accidental spill or overspray of ChimneySaver on an asphalt shingle roof will not cause damage to the shingles other than discoloration. Until ChimneySaver dries it may float some asphalts to the surface of light colored shingles, thereby causing dark stains to appear. Stains can be removed with a soft brush using either a water-based degreasing cleaner or a chlorinated scouring powder, though scrubbing the shingles may damage them.
Can ChimneySaver be applied to a wet surface?
No. A wet surface means that water is present in the pores that the ChimneySaver is intended to penetrate. The surface should be thoroughly dry.
Can ChimneySaver be used for interior application?
No. ChimneySaver is intended only for exterior surfaces.