We Can Help With Decayed Chimneys!
Masonry chimneys are meant to last through decades of time and weather, providing an important, valued service to you and your family: allowing you to enjoy your fireplace or stove by efficiently removing the dangerous byproducts of combustion from your home. Unfortunately, even well-constructed chimneys can fall victim to the tests of time, particularly if regular maintenance isn’t performed and kept up with.
More often than not, water is the culprit when chimney masonry begins to decay. The proper response to a decayed chimney will depend on the extent of the damage. Northeastern Masonry & Chimney technicians can assess the state of an individual chimney and recommend the best way to bring it back to life, whether that means a full or partial rebuild or another restoration approach.
Signs Of Water Damage To Masonry
If your chimney has decayed to the point where portions are crumbling, there’s little question as to whether your chimney needs significant restoration. But certain signs of water damage can indicate a growing decay problem in earlier stages:
White Stains Or Other Discoloration
If you see a white, powdery substance on the outside of your chimney, that’s efflorescence, and it’s an indicator of water issues. As water moves through the structure, minerals go to the surface and develop into deposits as the water evaporates. Other types of discoloration can also point to water intrusion — yellow, green and brown staining can all come as a result of minerals reacting to moisture. So simply taking a look at your brick and checking for any change in color can help you identify problems.
Green growth on your chimney masonry sets a troubling cycle in place. Moss starts to grow when damaged masonry and excess moisture combine to provide favorable conditions. That moss holds more moisture, creating more damage. Small cracks can also let seeds from other plants get into the masonry and begin to grow, with excess moisture helping those seedlings along, deepening and widening cracks. Before you know it, your chimney’s decay process has rapidly worsened.
Receded Or Cracked Masonry Joints Or Spalling Bricks
Bricks tend to be stronger than masonry, so you’ll generally see the effects of water in your joints before you’ll see it in the bricks. Cracked or noticeably eroded joints are a strong indicator that your chimney is taking on too much water. If bricks are spalling, the problem could be that much worse. Spalling often occurs when cracks allow moisture to get into the brick, and that water then constricts and expands with temperature changes and essentially bursts the brick. Once that occurs, you’ll end up needing bricks replaced and likely portions of your chimney rebuilt as well.
If a decayed chimney is leaving you unable to enjoy your fireplace or stove, don’t worry: Northeastern Masonry & Chimney can help. Call us at 518-767-9315 to talk with our expertly trained technicians!