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Spalling Brickwork: Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It

Perhaps you’ve been strolling through your yard and noticed some broken pieces of brick lying about. Or maybe you took a look at your chimney and saw that parts of the bricks were missing or cracked. You may be a victim of spalling!

Spalling is when the surface of brick or stone breaks off, exposing the porous surface underneath. Your chimney is constantly exposed to the elements, and cycles of excessively rainy weather followed by frigid winter temperatures are a recipe for spalling to occur. The moisture that gets into the brick will expand when it freezes and contract when it thaws, eventually causing the brick to break.

Spalling in your chimney is more than just unsightly broken stone. It can cause structural damage to your chimney to the point where it has to be rebuilt! As well there is a danger involved when pieces of brick fall inside the chimney and block the flue.

What can you do about spalling? First and foremost, call in a certified chimney inspector to check things out. The sweep will do a thorough inspection and tell you the extent of the damage and the best way to proceed. Most likely they will recommend one of the following:

Brick repair and/or replacement-Bricks that have suffered spalling will need to be replaced. Cracks around the chimney that aren’t damaged by spalling will need to repair.

Chimney cap replacement/installation-If your chimney cap is damaged, it may need to be replaced with a new one. If you don’t already have a chimney cap, it’s a good idea to get one. This helps with not only keeping water out of your chimney, but other things such as animals and insects will be kept out as well.

Sealant application-A waterproof sealant can be applied to keep moisture out of your chimney and prevent further damage. Keep in mind that this is not permanent and will need to be done every 3-5 years to help keep moisture out.

Chimney Flue Inspection-Getting your chimney flue inspected can prevent damage to the tiles and mortar joints inside the liner, which can cause safety issues the next time you use your chimney.

Whether you’re simply needing an inspection or a major repair, you can trust a CSIA certified chimney expert from Rooftop Chimney Sweeps to give you the very best service!

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