You may think that your chimney is pretty much indestructible, that nothing can damage it. However, there is something that can work to take it down, and it is precipitation, surprisingly. We usually welcome a warm spring rain without thinking of the damage it can have on brickwork and masonry. It’s important that you understand the negative effects that precipitation can have and that you have your chimney inspected regularly to make sure that no damage exists, or to have the necessary repairs done early before too much damage takes place.
How Damage Occurs
Moisture can damage your chimney in a couple of ways. Mortar and bricks are both porous, and when precipitation seeps into those pores and the temperature dips below freezing, this water freezes and expands, which weakens the structure of the bricks and causes the mortar to get weak and crumbly. When your mortar is already weakened, strong rainstorms cause even more deterioration. If you have a stone fireplace, the stones aren’t going to absorb the precipitation, but it does take a lot of mortar to hold those stones together, so a stone chimney can still suffer from the damaging effects of precipitation.
As with most things, it’s important to stop damage as soon as possible because the sooner you take care of damage, the less damage will occur. When Chimney Sweep Plus comes in to do your annual inspection and sweeping, we’ll take special care to make sure that your mortar is in good condition, but if we do happen to see soft or weakened mortar, we’ll recommend immediate repair work so that structural damage doesn’t occur.
One task that we recommend is tuckpointing. Tuckpointing refers to taking the old, crumbly mortar out and replacing it with new. Although this sounds like a relatively simple task, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. There are special tools used to make the job simpler, and it’s also important to match the new mortar to the old to maintain the aesthetic value. At Chimney Sweep Plus, our professionals will strengthen and repair your chimney with ease.
Finish Your Work Early
Repairing your chimney as soon as damage is noticed is crucial. The longer you wait, the greater the chance for structural damage. Also, the earlier you call, the quicker we’ll be able to get you scheduled in for that inspection. If work needs to be done, we can finish it before the rush of fall work starts. That’s a win-win situation! Call us or visit us online to schedule an appointment today!