Here at American Chimney in Cincinnati, we have recommended and used ChimneySaver products. ChimneySaver products are as varied as the problems that occur in masonry all over the home. There are products for waterproofing not only new brick but also brick that has been previously waterproofed by competitors’ products but also products formulated to repair cracks in the crown and other areas of the chimney as well. With such a wide variety of products to choose from, there are very few times my service men need to stray from the ChimneySaver line for repairs.
Why ChimneySaver? ChimneySaver products protect your masonry from the whole list of damage that masonry can sustain including but not limited to spalling, staining, freeze/thaw damage, deterioration, corrosion, efflorescence, and mildew. With such a wide spectrum of protection for your masonry, combined with the company’s warranty (length of which varies by product) I feel comfortable using ChimneySaver products in nearly every repair. One thing I must mention, however, is that the warranty on any ChimneySaver product is void if it is not applied by a professional.
ChimneySaver water repellent is one of the most frequently utilized products in the company. When diagnosing water problems we almost always start by waterproofing suspect areas on the chimney. Their water repellents and other products are formulated such
that they will not merely form a film over your masonry like most competitors’ products, instead their molecular formula is so small it can penetrate up to 1/4″ in to the masonry surface for heightened protection. These chemicals that have penetrated the masonry are photo-reactive, and after the treated masonry has been exposed to light the ingredients, which are 100% active, develop an electrostatic charge from the ultraviolet rays of the sun which matches the charge that water has. This allows water to be repelled actively like two of the same ends of a magnet repelling each other.
Other products are, quite literally, water sealers and although they protect the masonry surface from some water damage they also trap water vapors inside the surface. These water vapors will contract and expand with temperature changes over time causing the faces of the brick to pop off (spalling to occur) and cracks in the masonry surface to occur or widen.
We do not recommend using ChimneySaver products on painted brick because the paint has already filled the pores of the brick. Since the ChimneySaver product cannot penetrate it is less effective. Similarly, although you can paint over brick treated with ChimneySaver products, I never recommend painting brick at all. Painted brick has the tendency to spall and once the paint starts to peel, and it will, it is a huge mess that takes a lot of work to clean up. If you do want to paint over ChimneySaver products, you will need to apply an oil-based primer because most paints will not adhere properly.