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Why do Chimney Bricks Crack?

del prete masonry chimney bricks crack

Do you wonder why your chimney bricks crack?

Do you wonder why your chimney bricks crack? Over time, bricks need maintenance to keep them in good condition. It’s only natural for brick chimneys to form cracks due to weather, regular use, and other elements. The inside walls of a chimney are not always visible, letting early cracks and signs of alarming discoloration to become unnoticed. That’s why it’s essential to inspect your chimney routinely. This article explains why chimney bricks crack and provides possible solutions for maintaining your brick chimney functioning well.

Causes of Chimney Brick Cracks

Numerous things can lead to cracks and other issues with your chimney’s brickwork. Where you live and the weather types you experience impact how much wear and tear the brickwork on your home faces. Here we explain some of the prevalent reasons for chimney brick cracks.

  • Inadequate construction can be a reason why chimney bricks crack. If your chimney lays upon a non-solid foundation, it can get knocked off balance, producing cracks and other brick damage. Cracks can also form if there are problems with the actual construction of the chimney. For example, thermal expansion can occur if your chimney is not constructed to accommodate the natural swelling of temperature changes.
  • The weather is another prevalent cause of chimney cracks, especially if you live somewhere with extreme weather. Always ensure your chimney cap is working at peak efficiency to maintain water from getting inside of your chimney flue. Otherwise, structural damage can happen.
  • Do you notice any green vines growing out of your chimney? Vines and weeds can also be another reason why chimney bricks crack. Plants can damage your bricks by destroying the mortar that holds them together. So, problem solve this issue by spraying directly on the plant with an herbicide or plant killer, wait for the plant to die, and use a putty knife to eliminate the foliage gently.
  • Also, a chimney-mounted antenna may seem great for satellite TV but be aware that this pressure on your chimney can cause cracks and damage your bricks.
  • Lastly, trauma such as earthquakes or other disturbances to the ground your property stands upon can move things out of alignment and provoke your chimney bricks to crack or break.

Potential Solutions for Chimney Brick Cracks

At some point, you’ll need to replace any mortar or masonry brickwork that displays cracks or crumbling. Fortunately, your entire chimney will not have to be demolished if you catch problems early on the bricks. Remember that even minor cracks can produce safety hazards. Furthermore, bricks that are coming loose or crumbling demonstrate a serious sign of damage and require more work. You must eliminate the crumbly or loose brick, clean the open space, and put fresh mortar before refilling the area with a new brick.

Are you concerned about any potential damage or problem with your chimney bricks? Our team at Del Prete Masonry will identify possible trouble spots and offer valuable solutions to maintain your chimney functioning safely.


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 follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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