3 Things That Can Negatively Impact Your Chimney's Masonry

6 May 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Do you have a fireplace in your home? If so, it is possible that you may experience masonry damages if you do not properly maintain it. This can make operating your fireplace unsafe. Some damages such as missing bricks from a chimney may be obvious. However, there are some masonry issues that may be more difficult to detect, which is why fireplace inspections are recommended. The following points will help you to better understand why these damages occur. 

Environmental Damage

Your chimney can get damaged as the result of being exposed to the elements. Rain, ice, sleet, and snow all pose moisture threats. It is also possible for vegetation to grow along the sides of chimneys and lead to damage. If there is a severe storm in your area, damages to your chimney may also occur. 

Water Intrusion

Moisture from the elements is not the only way that water can damage chimneys. Water intrusion can also occur when property owners use water hoses, pressure washers, or sprinklers. The cement between bricks in masonry is a semi-porous material, which means that it can absorb water. Over time, the moisture naturally breaks down the material between the bricks, which can lead to bricks loosening. If there are already areas between bricks that have holes, cracks, or chips, the process of deterioration can progress quickly. This is why mortar repairs are important. 

Ground Settling

This is a phenomenon that can occur naturally as earth shifts. It can happen when chimney footings are not present or if they are installed incorrectly. Settling can result in extensive damages and make fireplaces unsafe to operate because settling can result in cracked bricks. If fireplaces are operated with cracked bricks that are located in certain areas such as the firebox, smoke, heat, and fumes can escape outside of the chimney area into homes. 

DIY Projects

In an effort to keep your chimney debris-free, you might be tempted to pressure wash it. However, if you are unskilled, you could set the pressure washing settings incorrectly and damage the masonry of your chimney. Some people also attempt to change the appearance of their chimney or waterproof them with painting. Using the wrong type of paint can result blistering due to overheating. Certain paints may be used for aesthetic purposes, but paint is not the ideal substance to use for waterproofing chimneys. 

A masonry professional is a good resource to use to determine if portions of your fireplace need to be repaired. They can also rebuild fireplaces that have extensive damages.