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Can Your Masonry Chimney Pass A Water Penetration Test?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has a stern warning for homeowners about the dangers of water penetration to the bricks and mortar of chimneys. They claim that water is the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. They say this because of the amount of damage that water leaks can do to masonry materials like bricks and mortar. Keeping water out of your chimney is one of the most important maintenance tasks you have as a homeowner.

Can Your Masonry Chimney Pass A Water Penetration Test? -Austin TX - Atlas Chimney Inc.How do you protect your chimney from water leaks?

Atlas Chimney can help you protect your chimney from water penetration. Not only do we sell and install chimney components, such as chimney caps and flashing systems, we also provide chimney waterproofing services. These services will greatly reduce the amount of water damage to your masonry chimney. We are proud to say that the waterproofing formula we use allows masonry materials to pass a water penetration test. We would like to tell you more about this test, the type of damage water can do, and how we can prevent water leaks in your chimney.

What is a water penetration test?

Using a RILEM or Karsten tube, you can test to see exactly how much water is absorbed by masonry materials over a short amount of time. This YouTube video shows you how this quality control test can measure the rate of absorption of bricks and mortar joints. In the video, you will see exactly how a water repellent formula prevents water from being absorbed into a brick. Also, how quickly water absorbs into an untreated masonry material.

How does water penetration damage a chimney?

Since masonry materials like bricks and mortar are porous, moisture can get trapped inside these materials. Erosion damage from water absorption can happen all year long. However, the worst of this damage occurs in the winter. When the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the moisture inside the bricks and mortar freezes and expands. As the weather warms back up, the force of this water thawing can cause the masonry materials to crack and break apart. Repeated freeze/thaw cycles over the winter can lead to serious structural issues for your chimney.

How can Atlas Chimney keep water penetration from damaging my chimney?

Our CSIA certified chimney experts can inspect your chimney and make masonry repairs if we find any damage. Once repaired, we will apply a waterproofing formula that is 100 percent vapor permeable. This feature is important because, while the formula creates a barrier against water penetration, it will allow vapors to pass through. So now, they can no longer become trapped, which causes even more structural damage. After waterproofing your chimney, every brick and mortar joint will be able to successfully pass a RILEM tube water penetration test.

Protect your chimney from water penetration and freeze/thaw damage. Contact us today at Atlas Chimney to schedule an appointment for our waterproofing services!

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