Having a brick home or chimney that is made with masonry is something that a lot of people find visually attractive. Bricks can be a very sturdy building material with a look that always looks beautiful in its own way. Even chimneys that are on the older side can still be pleasing to the eye. But a “vintage” look can sometimes actually be a sign of a problem.
If you have a chimney with bricks that are in bad shape, it may mean that you need to schedule a visit with Best Cincinnati Chimney. This is especially important if you notice spalling bricks on your chimney.
Here is what you need to know about getting repairs for problematic masonry.
What Are Spalling Bricks?
After years of handling freezing temperatures and then springtime thawing, your bricks will start to form micro cracks in the masonry. When water gets inside the cracks and freezes it expands the crack and allows more water in the next season. After a few years this water can work itself into the brick itself and when it expands with freezing, it will pop the facing off of the brick. This is known as spalling. This allows moisture to get into the brick even more and even into your house. This can cause much damage. This will cause other bricks to crumble, flake, peel, or even fall out of the exterior of your chimney completely.
Sometimes bricks split from top to bottom and cause the same problems.
Why It’s a Problem
As you can imagine, the loss of bricks around your chimney flue or house isn’t a good thing.
First, the worse some of the bricks get, the more they will impact the other bricks around them. Secondly, the risk of bricks coming out of your chimney is a safety hazard for anyone walking around outside the house. This can also cause damage to your shingles or flashing. This can cause water damage into the walls and ceilings of your home. On your walls, spalling brick will cause other bricks to spall and will deteriorate your walls. Thirdly, when your chimney develops spalling brickwork it can compromise the integrity of the flue itself, creating airflow problems and even creating spots for leaks.
Spalling Brick Repairs Are a Must
If you notice that the masonry that makes up your chimney and brick walls are in poor shape, it is best to reach out for repairs promptly. The state of your chimney and walls will only worsen and become a bigger threat to your safety and the wellbeing of your home.
Brick repairs may sound like a big time investment but when the repairs are performed by a professional it will be a worthwhile investment. A professional technician can assess the issue and provide comprehensive and effective solutions. For example, if the issue that caused the spalling bricks originated from bad mortar, they can replace that mortar and fix the bricks to get your chimney back into shape.
Additional brick repairs that we can make include:
- Fixing chimney crowns to create a drip edge
- Chimney and wall tuck pointing
- Replacement of spalling brick
- Repairs to Lintels around windows and garage doors
- Chimney and brick wall water repellent sealing
With Best Cincinnati Chimney, you are guaranteed to get the repairs you need done right the first time around. This means better performance from your fireplace and chimney this winter and less stress all around on your brick home, along with improved safety and comfort.
Getting into the habit of routinely maintaining the different parts of your home is essential for maintaining its value and ensuring that it remains a safe place to live. Most homeowners are familiar with the basic things that they must do to keep a home in shape. However, it is important to know what you might be missing when it comes to maintenance and repairs around your home.
Chimneys and fireplaces are commonly forgotten when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. As long as they are functioning properly, homeowners tend to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy in this regard. However, keeping these parts of your home well-maintained is essential for avoiding damage and costly repairs down the road.
Let’s look at some of the basic things that every homeowner needs to know about fireplace and chimney maintenance.
Clean Out The Chimney
Chimney cleaning is a dirty but necessary task to protect your chimney from damage and to keep your home safe. The buildup of creosote in your chimney, from wood burning, has the potential to create a fire hazard or a ventilation blockage.
Depending on how frequently you use your fireplace, chimneys need to be cleaned out at least once or twice per year. If you notice that your fires are burning less vigorously or you find that creosote is visibly starting to build up around the fireplace, then it is likely time to call in professional fireplace cleaners to assist.
Beyond the chimney itself, it is important to keep your fireplace cleaned out as well. Sweep out or vacuum the ashes if they are starting to build up. This will help to preserve the integrity of your brickwork and prevent particulate matter from circulating in your home.
Installing a cap on your chimney with proper sealing will also keep unwanted things out of your chimney from the outside, such as small animals or rain, and will protect the chimney’s crown. Powerwashing can also help to keep the exterior of your chimney clean and looking great.
The brickwork of your chimney also needs periodic inspection and care in order to remain secure and aesthetically pleasing. The mortar in your chimney usually has a life expectancy of approximately twenty-five years. After that time, it can start to corrode or deteriorate.
Once this happens, water and moisture can infiltrate the structure of your chimney and cause damage. Moisture may even leech into the interior of your home and cause paint and wallpaper to peel. This damage and the cost of painting again can be expensive!
To prevent this from happening, you need to replace the deteriorating mortar with a fresh supply that will seal out water. Tuckpointing is a procedure to extract the old mortar and apply new mortar to ensure that your chimney remains in top condition.
Call In The Professionals
Professional roofing and chimney repair companies have experience in servicing many different fireplaces and chimneys. If you need help keeping your home in good shape, then contact the pros to assist.