If you have a brick chimney, you should have it inspected annually for signs of masonry spalling. Environmental elements like wind and rain can cause the brickwork to erode over time. This can result in costly chimney repairs if the issue isn’t addressed immediately.
What Is Masonry Spalling?
Spalling basically refers to any form of damage to masonry, including cracking, chipping, flaking, and crumbling. Spalling usually occurs in more humid locations. Brick is porous and absorbs moisture from the air. The brick retains the water and when the absorbed moisture freezes in the winter, it causes the brick to expand. In some cases, the brick might even partially explode, creating a jagged and uneven surface.
Spalling can also occur a number of other ways. DIY errors like painting over the surface with latex paint can trap moisture. Spalling can also occur simply due to old age and years of wear and tear.
The original construction of the masonry comes into play as well. If soft brick was used, as opposed to more durable hard brick, then the masonry is more susceptible to spalling.
What You Can Do About It
Once spalling is detected, you’ll need to bring in a masonry service. The entire chimney stack and crown may need to be rebuilt. Once restored, the technician may also waterproof the masonry to seal the surface and prevent it from absorbing moisture.
If the damage is just a small chip or crack, then a masonry repairman may be able to fix it by applying precast concrete and epoxy adhesive over the damaged brickwork. Alternatively, the technician may also reconstruct the damaged surface using plastic composite.
Let Us Restore Your Old and Spalling Masonry
Contact Powers Chimney & Masonry to have your chimney inspected at least once a year. Preventative maintenance is vital for preventing irreparable damage. We can detect small signs of wear and make necessary repairs before the masonry spalls and you require a full chimney rebuild.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Serving the communities of Arlington, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and all South Snohomish & North King County