Weather changes play a huge role in the destruction of your chimney. When it rains, the water is absorbed in the brick and mortar. When the sun shines and temperature rises the water expands and contracts. The thermal expansion and contraction weakens the brick and mortar thus weakening and damaging your chimney.
Signs that your chimney is damaged
If you undertake regular chimney inspection it’s easy to know when your brick chimney is damaged. A clear sign of damage is failing or missing mortar joints between the bricks. To confirm that the damage is extensive you should undertake a probing test where you use a small knife. You should dig using a knife and confirm if the mortar is loose and falls out easily.
Another clear sign of a damaged brick chimney is leaking. Is water leaking into the house? You should hire a chimney contractor to identify the area where the water is leaking from.
Other signs of damage include: peeling wallpaper near the chimney, wet brick inside the house, outdated flashing, and cracks in the chimney crown.
Guide on how to repair the brick chimney
There are many ways in which you can repair the chimney. The method to use largely depends on the condition of the chimney and extent of damage. To know the right option to go with you should hire a brick chimney repair professional who will analyze the chimney and come up with the best solution.
Sometimes the repair may involve removal of the loose mortar and replacement of it with new and lime-based mortar. If the bricks have been damaged you will have to remove and replace them with new ones. In severe cases, the chimney repair professional may be forced to replace the entire chimney.
Tips on how to prevent the damage
The key to preventing chimney damage is regular inspection of the chimney. You can inspect the chimney on your own or hire a professional to do the work for you. Experts recommend that you should inspect the chimney once a year; however, if your chimney is in constant use you should inspect it more often (at least twice a year).
To avoid expensive repairs in the future, you should make minor repairs whenever you notice them. For example, if you notice even a small crack you should fix it as soon as possible. The initial condition of the bricks greatly determines their lifespan. For your chimney to last for a long time you should ensure that it’s installed by a certified brick chimney contractor.
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