Repair Crumbling (Spalling) Chimney Bricks

You may have heard the term “spalling.” It’s a common chimney-industry term that describes bricks that are deteriorating and becoming loose. If your chimney has spalling bricks, Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola, FL, and Destin, FL, would like to share some important information with you.

Spalling Brick Repair, BlackwaterWhy do bricks spall?

The most common cause of brick spalling is cheap materials used to build the chimney. Inferior bricks that are too porous will absorb excess water; poorly mixed mortar compounds won’t let bricks expand as they should. Old age is also a factor in spalling. So are weather events such as lightning strikes, major hail storms and fierce winds, all of which can damage bricks and mortar.
If left unaddressed, spalling can lead to disaster. As with any system or structure in your home, timely maintenance is the key
to keeping your chimney in great shape. If brick spalling has begun, it’s not going to get better on its own. If allowed to continue, you may be looking at:

  • A chimney that leans dangerously to one side
  • Internal masonry decay, which can cause bricks and mortar to fall
    away from the chimney
  • Major water damage to the chimney liner, fireplace damper and other
  • Rotting of home building materials near the chimney
  • A complete chimney collapse

What to do if you notice spalling in your chimney’s bricks

The first step to solving any chimney masonry problem is to schedule a chimney inspection. This work should be done only by a licensed chimney professional. Your inspector will assess the situation and determine the extent of the problem. He or she can then recommend the best ways to restore strength and safety to your chimney. In addition, your inspector will let you know about related damage within your chimney system, so you can have that fixed as well.

Tuckpointing repair, Gulf ShoresChimney repair for spalling bricks

Chimney service companies have several ways to address spalling bricks and crumbling mortar.

Tuckpointing: This is a process in which the chimney technician scrapes away areas of deteriorated mortar and adds a fresh new compound. When done correctly, tuckpointing will add years of life to your masonry.

Brick replacement: Bricks that are decayed need to be replaced. A good chimney crew will use new bricks that cosmetically match the original ones that are left in the structure.

Chimney waterproofing: After all repair work is completed, it’s a good idea to have your chimney masonry coated with a water sealant.

The best sealants are “vapor permeable,” which means they allow moisture to escape and not be trapped in and around the bricks.

Chimney rebuilding: In extreme cases of spalling, your chimney can be partially or completely rebuilt.

Restore the safety and soundness of your chimney

If you notice that your chimney’s bricks are crumbling or that mortar is deteriorating, now is the time to call Doodlebuggers for a thorough inspection and solution to repair your chimney brick spalling. We’re Florida’s chimney experts that you can count on for a job done right every time. Reach a chimney pro today at (850) 779-2567 in Pensacola, FL, or at (850) 779-4998 in the Destin, FL, area.

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