4 Steps to Waterproof Your Chimney

Most homeowners are focused on the more obvious aspects of their home: maintaining the façade, repairing floors and windows, and generally keeping it in optimal condition. However, most homeowners also forget about their chimney until it becomes a glaring problem—and an oftentimes expensive one.

The chimney is one of the structural elements of the house that is most exposed to severe weather. Since they jut out above the roofline, they catch the worst of the elements and incur damage over time. They’re also highly susceptible to water penetration, which is the single most significant cause of damage and deterioration. If left unchecked, it could lead to issues that’ll cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Here are four steps to waterproof your chimney and protect it from leaks:

Thoroughly Clean Your Chimney

Before waterproofing your chimney, you have to make sure it’s as spic and span as possible. This means cleaning it from rust, dirt, mould, and other stains and foreign matter that will interfere with the waterproofing process. Using a brick cleaner mixed with water is an effective way to thoroughly clean your chimney’s surface and scrub any stubborn areas of grime.

If you have difficulty cleaning some areas, a power washer might do the trick. Once your chimney is cleaned, allow it to dry for a day or two.

Shield Non-Target Areas

Next, it’s time to protect the areas that won’t be targeted by the water repellent. Some areas should be left untouched as water repellent can discolour or damage certain areas, such as your shingles and windows. Make sure to use an absorbent material on the base of the chimney, which will prevent any over-spray from running off onto the roof.

If there is any siding that is within the vicinity of over-spray, cover them up. Although over-spray is easily removable when it’s wet, it is almost impossible to wipe off once it’s dry.

Conduct Minor Repairs

If there are minor cracks in your chimney, attend to these before proceeding to waterproof them. Using a crack and joint sealant is sufficient for repairing cracks that are up to an eighth of an inch wide on mortar joints. Although it won’t be noticeable on lighter-coloured mortar joints, it will be obvious on bricks over time.

However, if your chimney has more significant damage that needs rebuilding, consult a masonry professional to repair it. If it’s been tuckpointed, allow around three to four days for the mortar to settle and cure before waterproofing it. On the other hand, if there are large parts of the chimney that have been completely rebuilt, another twenty-eight days must pass for the new masonry to cure before spraying it with a water repellent to allow it to bond properly.

Use Breathable Water Repellent

Once the masonry has cured and all repairs have been carried out, your chimney is finally ready for waterproofing. Make sure to choose a day of dry weather for a successful waterproofing session.

Choose a breathable water repellent to allow moisture in the chimney to escape; otherwise, it will remain trapped and cause it to expand and contract according to the weather. This will cause spalling in your bricks, and you’ll have to replace your bricks or completely rebuild your chimney.

After you’ve positioned your drop cloths, it’s time to apply the water repellent. Use a pump-up garden sprayer with a fan-like nozzle to achieve maximum reach with each spray. Start at the bottom of your chimney and slowly spray around it until you reach the top. After that, apply a flood coat all around the chimney. This is done by heavily spraying it so that it starts to run down several inches.

For extra measure, apply another wet-on-wet coat within five minutes, which will take up to six hours to dry.


Waterproofing your chimney will not only help it stay in great condition, but it will prevent any leaks that could cause severe damage. It also calls attention to any repairs that need to be made prior to the waterproofing process, which will allow you to efficiently solve your chimney problems in one go. By protecting your chimney from water damage, you’ll be protecting it from deterioration, saving you plenty of time and money.

Red Robin Masonry is a masonry company in Toronto that also offers waterproofing and chimney repair services to Markham, Mississauga, Scarborough, and Thornhill. Our top-notch experts will make sure that your structures are robust and well-maintained. Have a chimney that needs to be repaired? Call us today at 416-206-8859!

Slabjacking and Piering - Foundation Repair Types for Your Home

Taking care of your home means making sure everything is regularly inspected to keep it in optimal condition. This also means making sure its structure maintains its structural integrity, as this will keep you and your family safe and secure. The foundation of your home is one of the critical components to check on a regular basis because a compromised foundation can cause an array of problems that can be difficult to solve.

Familiarizing yourself with the foundation repair process will help you determine whether or not your foundation is in good shape. If you’re looking for a new house, you’ll also want to know whether or not its foundation needs to be repaired.

Here are the two most common methods of foundation repair to consider for your home:


This repair method is also known as concrete lifting, and is a commonly used way to repair houses that are built on a concrete plate. It’s a fast and affordable solution to repair your foundation while minimizing disturbance to your house or yard. It can also be carried out almost any time of the year, making it an easy and accessible way to repair your home’s foundation.

Slabjacking can also be used to repair cement plates in your home. Whether these cement plates are in the patio areas or  entryways, slabjacking is a great way to support these areas to prevent the cement plates from breaking and sinking.

With slabjacking, a pattern is drilled into the area that needs to be repaired. Afterwards, a plastic lifting solution is poured into these holes and under the platform using special equipment. The solution fills the empty spaces below the cement. After that, a concrete mix is used on the openings.


The other type of foundation repair that you can consider for your home is piering. This method uses steel or concrete posts to support a collapsed foundation. It’s also used to correct foundation settlement or reinforce failing building foundations.

Piering is also a low-cost method to repair the foundation. It’s much more affordable than completely replacing the foundation as well. This type of method addresses the cause of the settlement, such as unstable soil and its consequences in one go. It’s also a flexible and non-intrusive method of repair, which will allow you to continue using your home while repair work is being carried out.

With piering, an excavation is made around the foundation. Push piers, made of galvanized or epoxy-coated steel pipes, are driven into the foundation with a hydraulic ram. After that, helical piers, which are also constructed of steel, are drilled into the ground with a hydraulic torque motor. Then the hydraulic jacks raise the sinking foundation to the right level, securing it into place with bolted or welded wall brackets.


Repairing the foundation of your home can be a stress-free process with these two foundation repair types. They cause minimal to no disturbance to your home and landscape, are affordable, and allow you and your family to continue living in your house during the course of repair work. Now that you know the two most common types of foundation repair, you can identify which one your foundation might need to restore it back to good condition.

Are you looking for a service that offers foundation repair in Toronto? Let us know at Red Robin Masonry! We understand that your home is the biggest investment in your life, which is why we’re committed to helping you maintain it. We offer home restoration services, brick repair services, and much more. Contact us today to request a quote!

Cleaning and Maintaining a Chimney - What You Should Know

Your house chimney is one of the more vulnerable parts of a house. Since it is located outside the house, it is more exposed to weather and temperatures. This frequent exposure to intense climate and season change can weaken or bring wear and tear to your chimney system. Whether you constantly use your chimney or not, it is essential to clean it regularly.

Problems That Can Occur in Your Chimney

Here is the most common rationale why homeowners don’t think that inspection and maintenance of chimneys are not necessary—“I don’t use the system that much.” Most homeowners think that just because they’re not using their chimneys, it remains in good condition. However, several problems can happen even in a not functioning chimney:

  • Pests nesting inside your chimney
  • Freeze and thaw cycle
  • Wear and tear

If you follow that mindset, then you need to rethink your ways. Regular inspections can help you resolve the problems immediately. Since it won’t be easy for you to identify any issues in your chimney, it is important to hire professionals to deal with this concern. They have the appropriate tools and knowledge to make the checkup thorough and efficient.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Chimney

Here are the reasons to convince you that chimney cleaning is an essential part of home maintenance.

  • Ensures safe operation – You’ll never know how much soot, blockages, or creosote already exist in your chimney and vent system.
  • Guarantees family and home protection – Any of the mentioned dirt or buildup in your chimney can damage your family and home’s health. For example, creosote is the highly flammable black substance that builds up inside your chimney liner after burning some wood. If not cleaned up properly, this substance can build up fast in your chimney. A small amount of creosote, if mixed with a spark, can already cause a chimney fire. Apart from that, the buildup can affect the performance of your chimney in the long run.
  • Makes sure you’ll have no problem – Having your regular chimney checkup can give you peace of mind. It is essential, especially if you did a heating system upgrade or insertion of a stove or fireplace. Performing routine maintenance will ensure that your chimney’s lining and venting systems are in excellent working condition.
  • Less future expense – If you do not conduct your occasional checkup and maintenance and problems occur in your chimney, you will only spend more on the repair.

The Best Time to Clean Your Chimney

For recent home buyers, you need to schedule an inspection as soon as possible. The authority needs to check your chimney first before you use it. For other homeowners, the ideal time to check up a chimney is every summer or early fall, or before you use your chimney in burning and heating the place.

Have your chimney checked at least once a year—and don’t try to skip it. Although there is a recommended period for chimney cleaning, this service is available all-year-round.

Apart from the chimney, you should also have other connected systems cleaned up regularly, such as the fireplace, stove, heating appliances, and furnace.


Before firing up your chimney again, you have to ensure it is safe for use. Add regular inspection and maintenance of your chimney in your annual schedule, so you don’t forget. Neglecting this vital duty would end you up with more repair expenses or a chimney fire.

For chimney repair services in Toronto, contact us at Red Robin Masonry. All our chimney repairs comply with the current building and safety codes. We can also help you clean, rebuild, and make your chimneys work.

The Positive Impacts Waterproofing Concrete in Your Home

If you have masonry and other cement-based materials in your home, you will largely benefit from the benefits of waterproofing. This process is mostly done to secure the overall condition of the cinder blocks or cemented pavements by keeping water out. In fact, some professional masonry companies in Canada are emphasizing its necessity.

In other countries, masonry builds are required to be fitted with waterproofing. This is due to its benefits in longevity and general safety. If you are currently considering waterproofing, this guide will help you understand why it’s worth the investment. It will also show you pre-conditioning guidelines to facilitate the success of the service.

Positive Impacts of Waterproofing Concrete

The following impacts are the reasons that most masonry experts and building owners alike are turning to concrete waterproofing:

1. Energy Cost and Living Cost

Since HVAC systems are a staple in every Canadian home, waterproofing is a huge convenience when you suddenly have to turn up your unit. This is because unwaterproofed concrete has subtle cracks that let air escape. Thus, it takes longer for your space to adjust the temperature. In the long run, this will increase the usage and your electricity consumption.

On the other hand, waterproofed concrete translates to easier temperature control and less energy consumption in the long run. It is also a long-term investment that can significantly decrease your daily living cost. This is why most Canadian families also invest in it to save more money on top of its benefits in the wellbeing of their household.

2. Overall Health And Wellbeing

Speaking of saving and wellbeing, waterproofed concrete acts as a layer of protection against harmful mould that grows in wet cement. They are characterized as little black specs that can trigger respiratory diseases, like allergic rhinitis and asthma. Prolonged exposure to the mould also leads to viral infection and flare-ups on the skin. These health hazards are part of the reason why waterproofed concrete is more preferred in most masonry builds.

3. Safeguarding Your Home

Aside from the many health concerns, waterproofing also prevents cement erosion or the gradual weakening or degradation of your structure. In contrast, no proofing leaves room for stray water to seep in, be absorbed, promote mould growth, and eat away at your structure. Again, this is another reason why masonry builders recommend this step.

Another reason to waterproof your concrete is also helpful in securing the cemented walls in your basement. This prevents stray water from finding its way into the bottom of your home, which can cause flooding. Overall, the structural integrity of your home and your security largely benefit from this.

4. Home Value

As you safeguard home, waterproofing also adds to the resale value of your home. If you are looking to retire instead or keep living there, the service also secures that, as the structure will hold for a very long time. The long-term benefit of investing in waterproofing is like building a solid foundation on your home. Additionally, cemented products and structures themselves are also made stable and resistant to common wear and tear.

Pre-Conditioning Your Home for Waterproofing Concrete

The following guidelines are what you must adhere to if you are looking to waterproof your concrete:

  • Secure all home furnishings, electric boxes, and stairs: Possible dust and debris from waterproofing materials may find their way into your appliances and other furnishings. Thus, it is recommended to patch them up with tape and secure coverings.
  • Clean and dry surfaces before scrapping: For an even coating and layering of waterproofing materials, it is highly recommended to have surfaces cleaned properly of dirt.


In the event that you want to prolong the longevity of your structure, consider the many benefits and recommendations regarding waterproofing for your home. That way, you can ensure great results and get the most out of your home.

In need of a professional masonry company in Ontario? We are Red Robin Masonry, your professional team offering you first-class services to upgrade your home. Build strong structures with us and invest in quality builds today!