A damaged chimney is a huge safety hazard. This structure is responsible for directing smoke out of the home and keeping unwanted moisture from creeping in. If you have a chimney, it’s a good idea to periodically look over the structure and check for potential issues. Here are some common signs of chimney damage, courtesy of Mortar City Masonry.
Deteriorating Mortar Joints
The mortar around your bricks is often the most susceptible structure to damage. Mortar can erode, crack and crumble after persistent exposure to sun and precipitation. If you notice missing or cracked mortar around your chimney, it may be time to get it tuckpointed. This process removes the surface layer of mortar and replaces it with new, stronger mortar. At Mortar City Masonry, we use a special color-matching process to ensure the new mortar blends nicely with the existing mortar.
Efflorescence (White Film on Brick)
If you see a white film or stain on your bricks, that’s called efflorescence. It’s the result of excess moisture in the chimney. Efflorescence is quite common in Michigan, and it could be a sign of other moisture damage (mold, mildew, etc.). Get your chimney inspected right away to pinpoint the source of the issue and find appropriate solutions.
Brick spalling refers to chipped or crumbling bricks. Just like the mortar in the joints, bricks are constantly exposed to UV rays, wind, moisture, freeze/thaw damage, and more. Some bricks are more exposed than others based on their location. In the case of a chimney, the bricks have little to no protection from the elements.
If you have spalling bricks around your chimney, they will likely need to be replaced. We can find the closest possible match to your brickwork to create a smooth chimney restoration.
Visible Damage around the Chimney
As a general rule of thumb, any visible damage is a sign that something may be wrong with the chimney or the foundation. Large cracks, mortar dust, discolored bricks – anything that looks out of place is probably an indication of trouble. As soon as you see anything out of the ordinary, arrange for a chimney inspection.
How to Fix Masonry Chimney Damage: Start with an Inspection
There are many ways to repair chimney damage, depending on the nature of the damage. Do you simply need new mortar, or do you need a complete chimney rebuild? Will you need color-matched bricks for replacement, or are your bricks still in good shape? Moreover, what is the root cause of the damage? It needs to be addressed at the source.
Mortar City Masonry offers tailored chimney repair for the masonry portion of your chimney. We source precisely-matched bricks and mortar to create seamless chimney repairs. The first step in the process is an in-person chimney inspection with one of our Metro Detroit brick layers. Contact (586) 533-1305 to schedule your appointment.