Having chimney repairs is very common especially when there are spalling bricks. It may lead to some hazardous problems like not letting the smoke out properly or leakages which can be damaging to your property as well as to your health. Here are some ways to repair spalling bricks on your chimney.
Early Stages for Spalling
Identifying the spalling is crucial before actually heading into the treatment of them. Chimney contractors say that mostly it is small damage that can be treated easily when the spalling is just barely visible. You should be able to identify when the masonry is cracked, and it can be fixed by quick crowning added with a waterproof sealant. Add a new chimney cap just to be safe. You should also know common chimney problems to have them repaired immediately.
Late Stages for Spalling
Identifying the spalling in the late stages is prone to have an extra amount of repair. It all depends on how damaged the chimney is. If it’s somewhat damaged and the cracks in the masonry is clearly visible then there should be just mortar seams and a few replacements of the damaged bricks. However, if the damage is too much and the chimney is deteriorating due to the age of it then there is a danger of it collapsing. The most damaged chimney will be subjected to the whole rebuilding of the chimney which a lot of work that you may need to hire chimney repair services. A good sealant is required after the rebuilding of the chimney to solidify it and preventing the deterioration for years to come.
Using the Right Kind of Bricks
Once you have analyzed the issue of bricks, it would be the process of rebuilding. The bricks come in many sizes and of different qualities, so you need to make sure what kind of brick matches your existing brick color and size if it needs replacement of the bricks. The brick style and positions need to match the existing bricks so it would seem seamless. Color may be a little hard to match because newer bricks mat tend to look bright whereas the existing bricks are worn out of their color. You are good to go with new bricks when you are rebuilding the whole chimney.
Use the Right Masonry Tools
Your masonry should be good when you are building or repairing your chimney. Having said that, you need proper masonry tools for removal of the bricks. The right tools will ensure that the removal is as well as your masonry skills. Have chisel, drill, hammer, cutting wheel etc. at your disposal when partaking in the removal of spalling bricks. Use the chisel to scrape the mortar of the bricks and then hammering the brick to pull it out. It should be easy to get out but keep a power drill close by so that you can remove the stubborn bricks that won’t budge.
Clean Out the Empty Part
Once the brick is out, you will need to clean out the opening carefully with a brush. Make sure that the opening is clean from dust and rinse it thoroughly before installing a new brick.
Use the Right Mortar
Mortar is mostly responsible for the spalling of your bricks, that’s why mortar repair or replacement is required. If not applied the right way, it will most likely make the bricks spall quicker than you may have anticipated. The new mortar that will be applied should be applied correctly in a way that it doesn’t give out. Have it mixed correctly and use good quality mortar cement or use a mixture of sand and lime to make a paste to be applied onto the chimney opening.
Replacement of the Bricks
The replacement of the bricks is the tricky part that’s why a chimney contractor Ellicott City should be hired. Once you have your mortar ready, you will need a trowel for the application of mortar. Use water to and make the surrounding area of the opening damp and then apply the mortar to its base which should be 10mm thick to the surrounding of the opening using the trowel. Make the mortar smooth before sliding the brick in it. Be careful when sliding the brick and align it perfectly to remove any asymmetrical look. Use a trowel to smooth out the mortar on the sides so that it holds up the brick.