Whether your problems are common or rare, they’re still problems. The same is true for issues affecting your chimney masonry.

Let Northeastern Masonry & Chimney think out loud with you as we survey some common masonry chimney problems, and resulting solutions.

Spoiler Alert: Water/moisture is the most prevalent culprit.

Spalling and Other Deterioration

Brickwork gets worn and cracked and splintered from wind, rain, ice, snow, sleet, freeze, thaw, and heat. When bricks show splitting, cracking and flaking, you have spalling. The masonry can deteriorate to the point of needing complete replacement. What is the solution? Northeastern Masonry & Chimney has successful experience identifying and repairing spalled brickwork.

Professional assessment of your brickwork is the first step. We search for the underlying cause. Water intrusion is the main culprit. Moisture intrusion damages bricks, chimney linings or mortar.

Remedies might range from installing a chimney cap or top-mounted damper or applying a specially designed waterproofing sealant.

On the plus side, we might discover spalling in its earliest stages. Perhaps only a few bricks need to be replaced.


Repointing involves the removal of eroding mortar joints and replacing them with smooth, new mortar. The need for repointing may arise from moisture or even original poor construction. A critical aspect of repointing is the matching of compatible types of masonry materials. Without professional insight and knowledge, shoddy workmanship would force a homeowner to pay for a do-over.


A faithfully executed chimney restoration pays attention to the details and craftsmanship of the original masonry. A professional restoration strengthens the structural integrity of your chimney, and it looks natural and authentic. The need for restoration can come from a variety of causes. For example, your masonry chimney crown can crack after years of onslaught from weather and climate. Be sure to repair a damaged crown quickly to prevent leaks. With proper care and maintenance, bricks can last a century or more. But water and weather, as well as the natural settling of a home, can take their toll on bricks and mortar joints. If called upon, Northeastern Masonry & Chimney’s professionals carefully consider the right choice of brickwork to respect the integrity of your original design.

Chimney Leaks

Moisture in masonry chimneys causes a host of problems, from cracking and crumbling joints and bricks to discoloration and mold growth. As we noted, repointing is one repair solution as is crown work. Like gargoyles, chimney crowns divert rain, sleet and hail away from your chimney masonry. Crowns are both functional and beautiful, but you need a pro to discern whether crown cracks are the warning sign of leaks to come.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney technicians are CSIA-certified experts, and are members of the NYSCG (New York State Chimney Guild) and the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG).

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney serves the Capital District, the Hudson Valley, Northern and Central New York and Western Massachusetts. Since 1993 (and more than 17,000 customers later), Northeastern Masonry & Chimney has been providing premier workmanship.

Whether your masonry problems are common or notably uncommon, call us today at 518-767-9315. We love being challenged.