As the brightness of Spring approaches peeling off the duller days of Winter, we start to notice areas of our homes that present recurring challenges and need special care and attention. For one client, his chimney had presented an unpleasant, annual challenge. It became The Chimney Project. Despite the homeowner’s diligence, effort and expense, the previous contractors had addressed only the parts of the chimney that you could see from the ground when looking up at the roof. The peeling parts that weren’t visible from the ground had been ignored. Every year the chimney was repainted. Every year it looked nice and neat for the better part of the Summer, but by Fall, the peeling and discoloration had begun anew; it was right back to where it started before the most recent repaint. The problem wasn’t the chimney itself but the products and technique that were used to paint it.
When the Larkin Team inspected the chimney, we were concerned because the paint products and primers that are available to us these days should certainly outlast one season. Our team approached it from all angles. We scraped the loose, flaking paint from the top of the chimney, inside it, and in every nook and cranny. We discovered that peeled areas that weren’t visible from the ground, were allowing the brick to absorb moisture. We also detected that the chimney had not been primed with the proper masonry primer. It was no wonder that despite being repainted each season, it was only a matter of time before the peeling extended from the not visible to the visible parts of the chimney.
After we removed all traces of the old, brittle coating, we soaked the bricks with the proper primer. This process was crucial to sealing the vulnerable chimney surface. After the primer cured, we repainted the chimney with a beautiful, high-quality exterior paint. The finished product looked neat and clean, but most importantly the work was thorough and properly performed. Now our client can strike “chimney project-have chimney repainted again” off of his to do list. As much as we love to see all of our clients again and again, we are happy they will not need us to revisit this issue for a long while.