Chimneys are a great addition to any building, and they help regulate heat and airflow inside. Your chimney can most likely last for years. However, there are some key signs to watch out for that indicate a deteriorating chimney. Chimneys are often positioned in exposed areas of the roof, and crumbling can occur due to weathering even if other masonry work around your home is in good condition. In most cases, a crumbling chimney indicates that the mortar between the bricks has degraded, cracked, or both. Here is everything you need to know about repairing a crumbling chimney.
What Causes a Chimney to Crumble?
The main reason that a masonry chimney can begin suffering from brick crumbling, also known as spalling, is brick and mortar quality. Poorly compressed mortar does not allow bricks to expand safely during the freeze/thaw process, and bricks that are too porous will easily let rainwater and moisture seep into the structure. Other factors can cause spalling, such as leaking gutters, windows, or roofs which allow moisture to enter your home’s structure. Also, poor construction or salvaged bricks will start spalling a lot faster than high-quality bricks and craftsmanship.
The Dangers of Crumbling Bricks
A spalling chimney is not only an eyesore, but it can affect the health and safety of you and your loved ones. Excess moisture in spalling bricks can easily cause mold to spread to the surrounding area. Mold poses huge health risks and can lead to structural damage if not addressed quickly. A spalling chimney is also very expensive to repair if left alone for too long. If a couple of bricks begin to fail, the whole chimney can weaken and even cave in. The framework, drywall, and boards are all at risk if your chimney starts to fail. It is cheaper to replace a few bricks than to replace an entire chimney.
How To Repair a Spalling Chimney
It is best to call a professional to fix any issues you have with your chimney. The repair method will vary depending on how water is entering the masonry and how much damage has been caused. If spalling is caught early, when there are only small cracks in the masonry, the likely solution will be to treat the brickwork with a waterproofing sealant. If the masonry has already significantly deteriorated, the brickwork will need to be repaired or replaced completely.
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Contact Del Prete Masonry Today!
Whether you are ready to start your next masonry project or are still hesitant and have questions, Del Prete Masonry is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time. Questions? Want to visit some of our residential or commercial projects? Ready to set up a consultation? Feel free to give us a call at 410-683-0650 or visit us online. We are happy to serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and to keep up with our new and exciting projects, be sure to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.