If you do not like the appearance of your brick, you may be tempted to paint it. In theory, this will modernize the exterior and make it fit the theme of your home. However, painting your brick chimney might do more harm than good. Here are some reasons to avoid painting a brick chimney.
Your Bricks Need to Breathe
The temperature inside your chimney is different than the temperature outside your chimney. This creates moisture buildup, like steam from a hot shower. The moisture goes into the bricks and escapes through the pores. If you have paint on the bricks, the moisture has nowhere to go.
What Happens When Moisture Gets Trapped in Bricks
Painted bricks trap moisture because their pores are no longer exposed. The same issue can occur with improper brick sealants. Some sealants are designed to have some breathability, protecting the brick without completely masking it. Other sealants are made to act like clear paint, which is not what you want for your home.
The trapped moisture will attack your mortar first. The mortar will start to break down, damaging the structural integrity of your brickwork. This may lead to extensive brick damage later on, or it may cause your chimney to crumble altogether.
The Right Way to Paint Brick Chimneys
The information above doesn’t mean that you cannot paint your brick chimney. You just need to go about it in the right way. Talk to a chimney repair company like Brickworks Property Restoration about your plans. We will send one of our brick repair experts to your home to examine your chimney and create a path for the smoke and moisture to follow. This is similar to using gutters to collect water from your roof. As long as the moisture has somewhere to go, it will not damage your brick.
If you need a chimney repair due to previous brick damage, we provide that service as well. We work with 15-20 brick supply yards near Metro Detroit, MI, so we can find the best possible match for your brick and mortar. No matter when your home was constructed, we can find a replacement that’s right for you. Contact us at (586) 868-3234 to schedule your no obligation chimney repair consultation.