Many homeowners don’t think about masonry chimney maintenance beyond their usual yearly sweeping and inspection. Unfortunately, ignoring your chimney can cost you big in the long run! By addressing potential problems early on, homeowners can prevent bigger issues down the road; small repairs are far less costly than larger ones. The certified professionals at Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County are here to handle your masonry repair needs from top to bottom.
Is your mortar crumbling like a cake?
Your chimney is constantly facing a two-front assault: it’s exposed to the elements on the outside and the heat from your firebox on the inside. As a result, the weathering process is sped up. As such, it isn’t atypical for your mortar to begin to crumble and/or break away. This creates open areas between the bricks, thereby exposing even more surface area to these weathering agents and processes. Repointing (tuck-pointing) your chimney might be the recommended solution. During this process, your chimney’s damaged, old and/or loose mortar is carefully removed from the joints between the bricks and replaced with new mortar to reinforce and stabilize it.
Uneasy lies the chimney that wears a crown
Your chimney’s crown is a reinforced concrete cap placed over the top of your brick and mortar chimney that plays a vital role. A properly constructed crown sheds water and serves as a protective covering for your chimney against harsh weather. Your chimney crown is exposed to the same elements that wreak havoc on your chimney itself. As such, it can eventually crack or break and need to be replaced.
Flaky biscuits are good, flaky chimneys not so much
Spalling — the flaking off of a brick surface — is glaringly obvious, as the face of the masonry is missing. When chimneys spall, it’s a sign of severe moisture penetration. Pieces of bricks may be found on the ground or on your roof. Damage can be increased if your crown isn’t poured with an overhang/drip edge, as water that is diverted is allowed to flow straight down the face of your chimney, thereby exacerbating the problem. Spalled bricks cannot be repaired but, instead, must be replaced. After they are replaced, a good waterproofing agent can assist in preventing additional moisture penetration moving forward.
Your chimney, much like your home, needs a roof.
The main purpose of a chimney cap is to cover your chimney’s opening to keep water, birds and other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into your chimney. Water is directed away from the center and off the sides of your chimney. Birds, other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris are blocked from getting into your chimney altogether, thereby preventing it from becoming nature’s very own trashcan, which could irreparably damage the chimney and/or create a huge fire hazard inside.
Dealing with masonry repairs can be frustrating; your chimney and fireplace play a large role in your home. When issues arise, Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County knows you want them taken care of correctly, quickly and affordably. Our expert technicians are dedicated to making your system look and feel like new again. If your system is in need of repair or you need a chimney inspection to determine the cause of a problem, contact us today. We understand that you as a customer have many choices as to whom to invite into your home, and we want to be that service company. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you.