Masonry chimneys are built to last a lifetime. However, the bricks and mortar joints can suffer from damage and deterioration over time. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water causes the largest amount of chimney masonry problems. Bricks and mortar are naturally porous. This means they can absorb water from rain, ice, and snow. Unfortunately, this can lead to erosion damage.
Over our years of working on chimneys in the Shenandoah Valley, Blue Ridge Chimney Services has learned how important it is to repair damaged chimney masonry. Once your bricks and mortar joints have started to crack, more water can get into the chimney. This type of damage leads to serious structural damage. This includes the collapse of the entire chimney. We would like to tell you a bit more about the most common chimney masonry problem and the solutions we provide!
SPALLING: THE MOST COMMON CHIMNEY MASONRY PROBLEM
The majority of chimney masonry damage occurs in the winter months. This type of deterioration is called spalling. Whenever the temperature drops below freezing, any moisture trapped inside the bricks and mortar joints of your chimney will freeze and expand. As the weather warms back up, this water thaws. Its force can cause the chimney masonry materials to break apart and crack, or spall. Repeated cycles of freezing and thawing over a long, cold winter can lead to major deterioration if left unrepaired. You may end up with bricks and mortar joints becoming loose and falling from the chimney. The holes and gaps left behind will allow water from the heavy spring and summer rains to easily get into your chimney and home to cause even more troubles.
TUCKPOINTING TO REPAIR DAMAGED CHIMNEY MASONRY
Our chimney technicians at Blue Ridge Chimney Services have been trained in chimney masonry construction and repair techniques. We can fix any spalling damage that may have occurred over the winter. We use tuckpointing to remove damaged bricks and mortar joints. Afterwards, we replace them with masonry materials that match your existing chimney. We use a customized Portland cement-based mortar mix that we make to be as similar as possible in color and composition to the existing mortar. You can trust us to restore the integrity of your chimney’s structure.
Blue Ridge Chimney Services can apply a waterproofing agent to your masonry chimney that will prevent spalling damage in the future. We only use waterproofing formulas that are 100 percent vapor-permeable. This is to keep gases and vapors from getting trapped inside the bricks and mortar joints and possibly causing more spalling damage. Your chimney will be guaranteed to have a barrier against water penetration for at least a decade!
If you have any damaged chimney masonry, Blue Ridge Chimney Services can restore the integrity of your chimney’s structure. Contact us to schedule an appointment today for our professional chimney masonry repair and maintenance services!