Chimney brick repair can range from minor to major, depending on the level of damage. Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola, FL, and Destin, FL, would like to share some helpful information on this important topic.
Severe brick damage is easy to spot, even from a distance. Minor damage isn’t always as easy to see. Bricks can develop small cracks that enlarge over time. They can flake and chip (called “spalling”). They can become loose in their settings. You may have to look closely to spot some of this. While major brick damage presents an emergency situation, minor damage very often leads to major damage. This is why it’s a smart idea to schedule a proper chimney inspection once a year.
A variety of things can lead to brick damage in a chimney. They include:
• Year after year of harsh weather
• Earthquakes and lightning strikes
• Inferior bricks used to build the chimney
• Chimney fires
• Water intrusion
Water is the #1 enemy of chimneys. This is especially true in regions where it rains a lot – like Florida. As noted above, chimney bricks can become compromised from a variety of factors, but once compromised, water can get in and lead to serious damage and unsafe operating conditions. Not only can incoming water deteriorate bricks (and the mortar that holds them in place), it can cause problems on the inside of the chimney that you can’t see. Intruding water can damage flue liners, interior masonry, fireplace dampers and even parts of the home near the chimney system. And in the worst-case scenario, severely damaged chimney bricks can lead to a collapsed chimney.
Chimney repair technicians will start all brick repair projects with an inspection. They’ll look closely at the visible areas of the masonry, and, depending on what they discover, they may look at many other parts of the chimney system. A more advanced inspection (known as a “Level 2 chimney inspection”) uses video technology to examine the inside of the chimney flue and evaluate damage that may have taken place inside it.
When the technician understands what has happened and where the damage exists, he or she can get to work to repair the masonry.
When just a few bricks are spalling or crumbling, brick replacement is a good way to restore soundness to the chimney.
In many brick repair projects, the mortar between the bricks will show signs of decay. Tuckpointing is a process where the technician removes old mortar and replaces it with a fresh new compound.
Partial chimney rebuilding: In some cases, sections of the masonry will need to be rebuilt. Quality new bricks and mortar will be used for this job.
Following an inspection, your technician may determine that the entire chimney stack (part above the roof) needs to be rebuilt. Chimney rebuilding may also involve parts of the chimney breast (below the roof).
An experienced chimney crew can handle all levels of brick repair and chimney rebuilding. Having this work done can save you money on more extensive repairs down the line. It can also make your chimney a lot safer to use and to live around.
Throughout Pensacola and Destin, Doodlebuggers provides complete brick repair services, chimney inspections, chimney rebuilding and chimney sweeping. Reach a chimney expert today at 850-477-1151 in Pensacola, FL, or at 850-243-0154 in the Destin, FL, area. You can also get in touch with our handy contact form.