Never put off masonry repair. Chimney damages can start small and lead to extensive issues if not addressed in a timely manner. Bricks may end up spalling or falling away from the structure.
2 Possible Dangers:
For instance, here are some examples of serious damages that may occur if repairs are not acted upon immediately:
-Freeze-thaw cycles are especially bad here in Cincinnati, that often cause very expensive masonry repairs. Gaps in exterior masonry may expose the building materials of the home to the intense heat that could lead to a fire or sudden occurrence.
-Leaning chimneys due to foundational issues are often below ground.
An annual inspection and minor repair work performed by certified chimney contractors is a way to help avoid and keep up on these problems.
Breaking it down:
Crown– If the chimney crown located at the top of the chimney begins to crack, masonry repair may be needed to keep the cracks from enlarging and letting water get down into the bricks.
Chimney crowns are meant to shed water, but when they fail, water damage can cause brick spalling and efflorescence. Keeping your chimney water-proofed with a professional-grade water repellent will prevent many of these problems!
Corbelling- Corbeling, also known as the shoulders or hips of the chimney. It can cause chimney damage if it is not smooth and pitched properly. If your corbeling has cracks, it is recommended to get it fixed sooner rather than later in order to avoid more serious water damage. Below is a video created by AskTheChimneySweep to explain the importance of corbelling.
Tuckpointing- This is the process of removal of damaged or deteriorated mortar from between the bricks. The purpose of the mortar is to hold the bricks tightly together. This is important to prevent moisture from entering into the brick wall. When the old mortar is removed, a new mortar is then placed or tucked back into the open joints.
Therefore, a couple of things to ask your proposed contractors are regarding the mortar color and sand mixtures. For example, ask them how are they going to attempt matching the old mortar on your home?
Look for contractors who not only are experts. They also should be able to blend materials and match colors. This is so that the final mortar joints match the existing brickwork.
Therefore, if you still have questions about masonry repair, check out our Ask the Chimney Blogs!