Chimneys are known for durability, but that durability can lend homeowners to ignore masonry repair needs. Chimneys perform several important functions, and one that is deteriorating can be a safety hazard. As long as you keep up with maintenance and masonry repairs, however, you can extend the lifespan of your chimney and ensure it works properly.
Masonry Chimney Repair 101
Before we discuss the types of masonry repairs a chimney may need, it’s important to know how a chimney is constructed. There is a variety of construction materials used to build a chimney, which includes: concrete, brick, mortar, concrete block, flue tile, stone, and cast iron. Most chimneys will contain some combination of all of these materials, and some chimneys can even contain all of these materials. But the problem is that most of these materials are adversely affected by contact with water or some type of water penetration.
Masonry Repair: Flashing
Flashing is the seal that is between the roofing material of your home and your chimney. Flashing is able to prevent snow or rainwater from running down the chimney into your living space. If the flashing needs to be repaired or replaced, the water can cause damage to ceilings and walls, and it can also cause a lot of rot in your rafters. Flashing allows for the roof and the chimney to contract and expand at their own rates without break the waterproof seal that is in either area. A professional masonry repair service will be able to detect whether your flashing just needs to be repaired or completely replaced.
Masonry Repair: Mortar Joints
If you have deteriorated mortar joints on the exterior of your chimney, then you have a potential entry spot for water. When mortar joints are functioning properly, they will have no gaps or missing mortar. They will be shaped in a way that allows water to be directed out of the joint. As the mortar deteriorates from lengthy exposure to weather, it will become more absorbent and not function properly. Repointing is a common repair for mortar joints that have deteriorated. The existing mortar joint will be cut to a certain depth, and the joint will be repacked with new mortar. A solid repointing job will give your chimney a much longer lifespan, and often times it will even enhance the appearance of your chimney.
Preventative Maintenance for Chimneys
Chimney caps (also known as rain covers) are an effective and inexpensive preventive measure to help prevent water from damaging your chimney. Chimney caps are also able to prevent birds or other animals from nesting in your chimney. These caps will also help to prevent sparks from landing on your roof or other nearby material that may be combustible.
Get In Touch With Del Prete Masonry Today
For any questions regarding masonry construction, feel free to contact Del Prete Masonry. Our masonry restoration professionals have the experience and history of satisfied clients to prove that we’ll get the job done right, and cost-effectively. To get started with your masonry restoration project, please contact our office today at 410-683-0650 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We serve Baltimore City, County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County.
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