My dad and I did some work on my chimney this weekend to help it last longer. It has had some pretty bad spalling and some cracks since before I got the house. My neighbor had pointed out some pieces of brick falling off a few weeks back, which drove me to action.
We used some cement caulk and crack seal on cracks and mortar and used some sealant paint (the kind often used for basement walls) on the face of spalling bricks. There were a lot of cracks, and I kept seeing more as I went. It took a while, but it looks much improved. I will probably go back up to touch things up sometime soon.
The basement sealant paint was white, but my dad mixed in some red cement colorant and it came out really close to the right color. They sell some of the paint that would’ve been a reasonable color match, but they only have it for their premium version which is only available in gallons. We didn’t use much at all.
My dad fashioned an aluminum cover for one of the flues. There are two flues, one which vents the water heater and has a vent cover on it, and one that doesn’t vent anything and had been open to rain, etc. We couldn’t find a purchasable cover for the size of the flue. His attaches to the cover of the other flue with bolts and has caulk between it and the flue to help prevent the wind from lifting it.
Hopefully this will help it last, keep water from seeping in, and prevent hunks of brick from falling and blowing off the roof.