The chimney of your house is located in an exposed area from the rest of the construction and is subject to the forces of nature. This can result in it weakening over time. Can it be fixed? Yes, let us show you how to do chimney repair.
The Reason Behind Crumbling Chimney Blocks
The main reason why chimney structures start showing signs of disintegration is either due to the mortar in between the bricks holding them together coming loose, or the bricks themselves starting to become weak and crumbling. The latter is obviously much more alarming and needs to be addressed on a prompt basis, lest it puts your family at risk. Let us start by taking a look at how you can repair or replace weakened bricks in the chimney, after which we will move to fixing the crumbling mortar.
Addressing the Weakened Brick Problem
Before starting, let us clarify that as we mentioned in the above section, there are ways to repair weakened chimney bricks. However, if you go that route, there is no guarantee as to how long these chimney repairs would last, and since the chimney is a key piece of construction in your house and is essential to ensuring safe living conditions in times there is a fire going on not just in the fireplace but the furnace as well, you are much better off replacing the thing entirely and having the peace of mind that there won’t be any chimney troubles for a good while. So without further ado, let’s get replacing.
The first thing you will need obviously is to get replacement bricks, making sure that they are the exact same size as the one already in place in the chimney. If the weakened bricks are custom cut, you will need the new bricks to be cut into the same dimensions to ensure they fit exactly right. Once you have done that, you can now move onto removing the chipping bricks from the chimney assembly. Make sure you are properly dressed for the task, with safety goggles and work gloves on. Start by chipping the mortar around the weakened brick using a mortar so that it comes loose. Make sure that you do not remove too many bricks at one time, otherwise the whole chimney assembly could come down. Instead, carry out the replacement process in stages.
To place the new bricks into the spaces created, first mix the mortar in the correct proportion and apply in to the edges with the same thickness as the adjacent bricks. Now simply slide the new brick in the space, and remove any excess mortar off the sides, making sure it’s a tight seal. And that is it. All you have to do now is to wait for the mortar to dry off completely, which takes about 24 hours, after which you can start using the chimney again.
Steps to Take If the Mortar Is Starting to Crumble
The mortar around the chimney bricks acts like glue, holding everything in place, and once it starts to chip, you better repoint in time or else with loosened support, any of the bricks may slip out and fall. Before starting, you will once again need to get the mortar ready. Chisel out the chipping mortar from between the bricks and clean it using a wire brush. Now put the mortar in a mortar bag and fill in the gaps created between the bricks. Leave it to dry off for an hour or two and then clean the bricks with a damp cloth. And there you have it, your chimney is as good as new.
Take Help from Pros
If chimney repair sounds too much of a hassle, there are professionals to handle all your chimney related problems, from the dreaded annual cleaning to handling any structural integrity issues with the construction.
Seeking the services of trained pros is not only better from an efficiency point of view, it is also the safer choice as getting up on top of your roof to work on the chimney is one of the most common causes of home injuries. Expert chimney contractors Upper Marlboro will also do a much better job than you can, with years of experience under their belt.