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What Happens to Damaged Chimney Brick?


It’s not uncommon for chimney bricks to begin to crack and crumble after many years on the job. As a homeowner, it’s important for you to keep an eye on your chimney and the bricks and mortar that make up its structure. This is how you avoid major repair and safety issues down the line.

FlameMaster Chimney Sweep of Colorado would like to share some important reasons why you should never neglect damaged chimney bricks.

Chimney Rebuilding Salida, COWater vs. chimneys

Ever since chimneys were first built out of bricks and mortar, their #1 enemy has been water from rain and melting snow. Chimney masonry is also susceptible to damage from interior combustion moisture and events such as:

  • Chimney fires
  • Earthquakes
  • Lightning strikes
  • Fierce hail storms
  • Major settling because of issues with the chimney footing
  • Freeze-thaw cycles

and others.

The events above can cause immediate structural damage, which sets the stage for a cycle of ongoing water damage as water is allowed to penetrate parts of the masonry.

When chimney brick damage is neglected

You may have seen photos of chimneys that are literally falling apart. You may have seen one or two in person. Not only is a deteriorating chimney a danger to live around, it can end up costing the homeowner many thousands of dollars in repair and rebuilding costs for the chimney as well as the roof and other parts of the house.

Fortunately, there’s no need to ever get to this point. You can perform regular visual inspections of your chimney’s bricks and mortar and report any damage issues to a qualified chimney repair company before the problem gets out of control.

You can also keep an eye out for common signs of a leaky chimney, which include:

  • Water dripping into the firebox
  • Strong, musty odors coming from the fireplace
  • Similar musty odors in the attic or crawlspaces
  • White stains (efflorescence) on the chimney’s exterior masonry
  • Damp patches or stains on the walls or ceiling near the fireplace

Note that not all of these signs indicate a problem with the masonry; chimney leaks can come from other sources, such as a damaged chimney cap, a cracked chimney crown or warped chimney flashing.

How brick damage is resolved

Professional masons and chimney repair technicians have several strategies to reverse and prevent brick and mortar damage in chimneys.

Tuckpointing: Decayed mortar between the bricks is scraped away and a new mortar compound is added to fill in the spaces.

Brick replacement: When just a few bricks are cracked and crumbling, they can be replaced with new bricks and adhering mortar to give new life to the chimney.

Chimney rebuilding: If brick damage is widespread, your chimney company can rebuild parts or all of it.

Chimney waterproofing: After masonry repairs have been made, you can have a water sealant applied to your chimney to keep surface water from causing future damage.

Masonry Chimney Repair, Castlerock, COKeep your chimney in top shape

FlameMaster is standing by to help with all your chimney masonry issues. Let our experts perform a thorough inspection and then get to work to solve the problem and add years of safe, efficient performance to your chimney.

We serve Woodland Park, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, Divide, CO, Manitou Springs, CO, Cripple Creek, CO, Victor, CO, and other local communities.

Reach us by phone at (719) 661-3277 or get in touch with our handy contact form.