How do you fix crumbling chimney bricks?

Wear and tear of your chimney

Chimney repair probably isn’t the first thing in your phone directory. Most of us consider masonry in regard to brick and mortar. However, a masonry chimney can be from a variety of materials that include any of the following: 

  • Brick
  • Cast Iron
  • Cinder Blocks
  • Concrete
  • Flue Tile
  • Mortar 
  • Stone
  • Steel 

Masonry chimneys are found in everyday life just about anywhere you look, and many need chimney repair, but the homeowner may not realize it. Today, the masonry chimney isn’t a given standard on most new construction. However, the beauty of a brick, rock, or stone chimney is still a desire for many, and will eventually need chimney repair.

A well-built masonry chimney can last for decades, even centuries. A look at the Roman Arches still standing today can attest to that statement. Unfortunately, not all masonry chimneys are built like those arches. Today, many of the masonry materials used to construct a chimney are  susceptible to the elements and weather, and therefore, need professional chimney repair. 

What is chimney repair and what does chimney repair involve?

All masonry materials used in chimney construction with the exception of stone, can be a victim of accelerated deterioration when exposed to prolonged water contact.  

The moisture that freezes, thaws, refreezes, rethaws, can penetrate into the masonry materials. This causes them to contract and expand over and over, stressing the strength of the materials. This creates a need for professional chimney repair. 

A professional contractor with experience in How to repair a chimney is the best person to call. The following are chimney repair process steps a professional contractor will take in doing a chimney repair: 

  • The chimney crown: This is the top element of a masonry chimney that provides coverage and seals the chimney top from the chimney edge to the flue liner. Many masonry chimneys have an inadequately built crown with mortar that wasn’t mixed properly, which leads to its cracking and deteriorating from exposure to the elements.  A chimney repair could include constructing and installing a properly made chimney crown using a Portland cement-based mixture that provides overhanging on  all sides of the chimney. 
  • The mortar joints: If there are gaps in the mortar or the mortar joints deteriorate, it allows water to enter into the chimney. A common chimney repair for deteriorated mortar joints is to repoint the mortar. This is done by cutting the mortar joint to a proper depth and repack new mortar into the joint.  Next, the joint is then cut, forming a concave surface that will direct water out and away from the joint. 
  • The Flashing: Flashing is the metal strip that seals between the chimney and the roofing material, preventing rainwater or snow from running down inside the chimney and into the house, damaging ceilings, walls, and rotting the rafters. The chimney repair for flashing is replace with new flashing if the existing is corroded or missing. 

How long do brick chimneys last?

Brick is a material that can withstand the huffing and puffing of the big bad wolf and when used to construct a fireplace, it can withstand the various weather elements, and regular use by the homeowner. A brick chimney that is professionally constructed, well-maintained with professional chimney repair when needed can last more than 100 years. 

Why is water coming down my chimney?

If there is water coming down the chimney inside your home, something is wrong. From an occasional drip to a constant dribble, this is an indication of a problem and should be inspected by a professional chimney repair service like a masonry specialist. 

Does a brick chimney need to be sealed?

Most definitely! Brick is a porous, soft material and like any brick structure – water is the enemy for a brick chimney. Water will quick deteriorate a brick chimney if it isn’t sealed, and professional chimney repairs and maintenance isn’t kept.

When brick is being made, it is given a waterproof outer shell that is baked in that keeps them from soaking up water. However, because brick chimney is continuously exposed to cold and hot, rain, snow, and wind, that outer shell is pierced over time. 

With that waterproofing beaten off the chimney, tiny holes form on the surface, creating a sponge-like material that allows water to penetrate. That moisture damage the chimney components like the flue and others, requiring chimney repair to correct the problem. 

That excessive moisture exposure also soften the mortar and when left untreated, the mortar will melt away, leaving large gaps between the bricks. This enables water to get inside the chimney. When that isn’t discovered in time, chimney repair may not be viable, and the chimney has to be replaced or removed entirely. 

Will homeowners insurance cover chimney damage?

Like any other part of your home, whether or not your homeowner’s insurance is going to cover chimney repair and replacement can depend on your policy. No argument tha the chimney and fireplace are part of your home, and most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover them – usually. With that being said, remember, not all insurance plans are the same. 

So, never assume anything within your homeowner’s insurance policy. Review your policy 2 or 3 times a year and ask your agent questions. Make sure the chimney and the fireplaced are covered and if they aren’t, ask to add them to your policy.  Call 214-471-6210 today for your chimney repair in Frisco , TX.

Kilker Roofing & Construction
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