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Masonry Chimney Damage: What to Watch For

Masonry Chimney Damage: What to Watch For Image - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons Chimney Inc.Even though masonry chimneys are built to last a lifetime, they can still suffer from damage and deterioration. The exterior of your chimney is always exposed to the elements of weather, including rain, ice, and snow. No matter how well built your chimney may be, it can still be affected by water penetration. Winter weather can be exceptionally rough on masonry materials. Think about the number of potholes that appear on the roads after a winter snowstorm. This is an example of spalling damage, which can also happen to your chimney. Spring is a great time to check out the exterior of your chimney to see if you have any cracked, chipped, loose, or missing bricks and mortar joints. All Seasons Chimney would like to tell you more about this masonry damage and how we can help to prevent it from occurring to your chimney in the future.

How does spalling damage occur to my chimney?

Masonry materials like bricks and mortar are porous, which means they naturally absorb water from rain and melted ice and snow. This water becomes trapped inside your bricks and mortar joints, and when winter comes, this trapped water freezes and expands every time the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water thaws, its force causes the bricks and mortar to break apart, which leads to cracking and chipping. After repeated freeze/thaw cycles, the bricks and mortar joints can become loose and even fall from the chimney’s structure. This type of masonry damage should be repaired as soon as possible because if left unrepaired, this damage can deteriorate into more serious problems, including the collapse of your chimney.

How can All Seasons Chimney repair and prevent this type of masonry damage?

Our expert chimney technicians have years of masonry repair experience, and we use techniques like tuckpointing to replace damaged bricks and mortar joints. We can remove damaged mortar and replace it with new mortar by tucking it between bricks with pointed tools. After we have completed the masonry repairs, we offer waterproofing services that will protect your chimney from water penetration. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends waterproofing because it creates a barrier against water being absorbed into the bricks and mortar. We only use 100% vapor permeable formulas that allow vapors to escape from the masonry materials. Clear sealants and paint will trap in these vapors, which causes even more spalling damage.

Have you noticed this type of masonry damage on your chimney this spring? Contact us at All American Chimney Service to schedule an appointment for our masonry repair and waterproofing services today.

Do You Have Winter-Related Chimney Damage?

Our area has experienced some harsh winter weather this year, and we at All Seasons Chimney have already been very busy repairing a lot of damage caused by the past several cold months. From water leaks to damaged dampers, liners, and chimney caps to masonry problems, the extreme temperatures of winter can be very destructive to a chimney. You may have even noticed some damage done to your chimney. The spring season is a great time to take care of these repairs, and you do not want to delay fixing winter-related chimney damage. We would like to tell you about some common post-winter chimney repairs and how our certified and experienced chimney technicians can fix these problems.

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LEAKY CHIMNEYS

Causing possibly hundreds to thousands of dollars in chimney damage repair, water leaks are a chimney’s worst enemy. After a cold winter with below-freezing temperatures, we often see leaks caused by spalling. Water leaks from a chimney can be hard to locate, so call All Seasons Chimney to schedule a professional chimney inspection to determine exactly what is causing them. You can see signs of a leaky chimney, which include:

Loose or missing bricks and/or mortar

Cracking and crumbling in the bricks and/or mortar

Rusty stains

Brick discoloration

Water in the fireplace

Damp odors

DAMPER AND CHIMNEY CAP DAMAGE

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the efficiency of these two parts of your chimney is crucial to saving energy and money. Additionally, these two components serve to keep water from penetrating into your chimney. If your damper is stuck open, it is the same thing as leaving a window in your house open. Cold air escapes, bugs get in, the rain pours into your house, etc. If the damper is stuck closed, you cannot start a fire because your flue is closed-off and unable to filter smoke and gases. Similarly, an undamaged chimney cap fitting correctly on the top of your chimney is essential because not only does it also keep rain out of your chimney, but it prevents stray animals from setting up home there.

MASONRY FIREPLACE DAMAGE

These classic chimneys are a bit more elaborate and require different types of maintenance, but All Seasons Chimney specializes in repairing masonry chimneys and is glad to check the following jobs off your repair list:

Crown repair

Your crown is the chimney cap of your masonry chimney and can become cracked during the winter during extremely cold spells.

Repointing/tuckpointing

When the bricks and mortar of your chimney are crumbling and falling apart due to deteriorating joints from spalling and water damage, we can repair (or rebuild, if necessary) your chimney using these techniques.

If you have noticed any of these or other chimney problems from the past winter, contact All Seasons Chimney as soon as possible. We are ready to repair any damage as well as prevent further damage from occurring.