need another chimney repair referral
I believe that Kathy has a field stone chimney, not brick. It is common knowledge that brick, block, and mortar take on water. That is why a properly designed brick veneer wall is water managed, not water proof. The last thing that you want to do in most cases is to put a water resistant sealer on brick masonry. Here is why:
Wind blown rain is driven at the brick veneer under pressure. In a water managed system, the water wicks through the brick and minute voids in the mortar to the back of the brick. It then runs down the back of the brick, hits a through wall flashing, and weeps out.
Once the rain stops and the sun comes out the wall dries out through evaporation. If there is a thin clear coating on the wall, it prohibits evaporation, and water condenses right behind the coating. If freezing conditions occur, the face of the brick will blow out at about a 1/4 inch deep.
This is why I said in my last post that clear coating is the last thing to consider.
I have not seen her chimney, but we know that it is field stone, and we know it is very wide. 10 feet wide. She also said that it has leaked ever since she can remember. It is very possible that the chimney has no cricket or chimney back behind it, That it does not have a proper counter-flashing set in the mortar joints between stones, or the base flashing was not done correctly.
I honestly have not seen any residential roofing contractor properly flash a masonry chimney in a long time, except on the roofs that I designed. Most of them actually cut a piece of metal in stair step fashion to match the mortar joints, attach it with cut, or case hardened nails or rarely, Zamac hit anchors, then they caulk the top with sealant. This is wrong.
More info is needed. Hopefully I can get it before somebody with a roller, brush, spray gun, or caulking gun messes up her chimney.