Do you need brick mortar repair work done on your chimney? Perhaps you’d like to know how to spot damage to your mortar, or how to keep mortar from cracking? Winter is right around the corner, with an increase in moisture that can damage your chimney and create expensive repairs. In this article, we’ll explain how water damages your chimney, how to spot and fix water damage, and what you can do to prevent costly repairs.
Water can directly damage the mortar that holds your brickwork together in several ways, causing it to break and deteriorate over time.
Mortar creates a water-tight bond between the bricks in your chimney, but that bond can be broken by water. As rain beats down on your chimney, it soaks into the mortar between your masonry and cracks the joints. As the mortar falls away from the brickwork, the entire structure weakens and becomes more susceptible to damage from the wind, rain, and fallen tree limbs.
The winter’s freeze-thaw cycle can also damage mortar. Throughout the season, temperatures fall and rise between below and above freezing. When temperatures drop below 40 degrees F (about 4.5 degrees C), mortar freezes and expands, pushing your brickwork apart. When this cycle is repeated, you could end up with some serious damage.
If you haven’t sealed your chimney crown, rain can leak in and soak the mortar from the inside. Your best course of action is to get a professional chimney inspection to make sure your chimney crown has been properly sealed. If it hasn’t, you might already have accumulated damage that needs to be fixed.
You can spot damaged mortar by checking if it has disintegrated, cracked, blistered, or warped. In extreme cases, you’ll notice damage to the brickwork ranging from minor crumbling to an obvious structural problem. Sometimes the problem won’t be obvious from the outside, so if you don’t see any visible damage, get a chimney inspection to make sure your mortar is in good shape on the inside.
There’s only one way to fix damaged mortar: replace it with new mortar. Although it seems like a simple task, it requires an experienced professional to do it right. They will use only the highest quality materials that match the color of your old mortar.
Waterproofing your brickwork with material that allows water vapor to escape will preserve your mortar and bricks, preventing costly repairs.
Brick repointing, or tuckpointing, will fix your chimney’s brickwork without having to rebuild the entire structure. Old mortar is removed down to the joint and new mortar is applied in the space. The work is left to cure for about a day and it bonds to your masonry. With a proper lime-based mortar and professional technique, tuckpointing will restore the structural integrity of your chimney and increase its longevity.
Has your chimney become damaged by water? Do you need mortar crack repair or brickwork done? We can fix your water-damaged mortar, repair your chimney’s brickwork, and waterproof your chimney before winter arrives.
We can help you with all your chimney needs, including repairs, maintenance, and annual chimney inspections. Whether you need chimney repair or even just a chimney sweep, we’ll get it all done for you. Contact us today to request a free quote.