When it comes to your masonry chimney, the old saying is as true today as when Benjamin Franklin said it: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A lot of masonry damage can be prevented by keeping regularly scheduled appointments with a chimney professional. The Chimney Safety Institute (CSIA) recommends regular cleanings and yearly chimney inspections . An experienced chimney professional will notice a problem before it has caused too much damage. When a homeowner notices a problem, it has likely already caused unseen damage.
Common masonry problems include:
- Leakage is caused when cracking or shifting in the masonry allows water to pass through. Chimney leaks can also occur when the flashing is damaged or improperly installed or when the chimney cap is missing or damaged. Leakage in the chimney system can throw off how the chimney works. According to CSIA water penetration can wreak havoc on your masonry chimney, costing you time and money that you could have avoided with a little preventative measures.
- Cracking occurs over time due to settlement and shifting in the masonry. Cracking can cause leakage and hundreds of dollars in other damage. When caught early, a professional chimney sweep can repair the mortar joints and re-point the masonry, matching the new mortar with the old for a seamless finish.
- Spalling is when bricks fall from the masonry. It can be a dangerous occurrence if bricks fall from the chimney height. Spalling can injure people and damage property. To stop spalling and repair the masonry a Certified Chimney Sweep (CCS) replaces each brick individually and repairs the mortar as needed.
- Staining happens for many reasons including exposure to water, humidity, minerals, and sunlight. Stains are cosmetic and can become a problem when homeowners are seeking real estate buyers. Some chimney sweep companies offer professional cleaning to return the brick to it’s original color. Another professional option is brick re-facing, to return the bricks to their beauty.
- Displacement is a structural problem caused from inadequate anchors for lateral support, freezing action, and corrosion of steel support. It causes the masonry to shift, which can cause other issues like cracking, spalling, and leakage. Displacement can sometimes require a total chimney rebuild and can be avoided by hiring a Certified Chimney Sweep to consult during construction, and by scheduling your regular inspections.
For all of your common masonry problems, it’s important to hire a professional who has experience in masonry repair. Brickliners understands that damaged masonry can have far-reaching consequences. Our professionals are experienced in masonry repair and CSIA certified.
When you’re ready to tackle your masonry repairs, call Brickliners or schedule an appointment online.