Causes Of Spalling Chimney Bricks And How To Prevent It

Spalling bricks is a condition that chimneys in colder regions mostly experience sooner or later. It is a condition in which the bricks tend to crumble. As a result, you will most probably need to build a chimney all over again by hiring chimney contractors. Let’s discuss the reasons along with how you can fix the issue.

What Causes Chimney Brick Spalling?

Perhaps the main reason of spalling bricks in the chimney is the quality of materials used. You should know that the bricks expand during the winter season. This means that the bricks should be allowed to expand. However, poorly compressed mortar won’t allow the bricks to expand.

As a result, the bricks will easily allow moisture and rainwater to seep in. Although, brick and mortar can both contribute to brick spalling, it has other causes as well. These causes include weather conditions, pressure washing or sandblasting, or simply poor construction.

Weather plays a huge role in brick spalling. If your area of residence has rainy, foggy, or freezing weather often, you will need to inspect your chimney regularly.

On the other hand, pressure washing and similar cleaning methods can clean your chimney but it can lead to spalling bricks. And finally, poor construction or salvaged bricks will begin spalling faster than high-quality craftsmanship and bricks.

The Dangers Of Spalling Chimney Bricks

From the outside, the issue of spalling bricks may just look cosmetic but it can pose a huge danger to the people living inside the house as well. Spalling bricks can cause mold and chimney collapse leading to structural damage to your home.

Keep in mind that you should protect your chimney from mold and moisture as much as you can. The reason is that moisture causes mold and spalling bricks enable mold to spread more easily in different parts of the chimney.

Moreover, spalling bricks is not only a health and safety hazard but can put a dent in your savings as well. That is why it is better to fix the problem in its early stages than to wait for the chimney to collapse.

How To Repair Spalling Bricks In Chimneys?

Contrary to what most homeowners believe, spalling bricks can be fixed on your own as well. However, if you can afford to hire an expert, that would be a better option. Working on chimneys is no fun and you will need to purchase expensive equipment as well.

However, if you are adamant about doing it on your own, then, you will first need to inspect and investigate the damage. Only proceed to fix the issue if the damage or the issue is not complicated. If the chimney structure is about to collapse, call in the experts.

But if there are two or three bricks that need to be replaced, make sure you find the right bricks to replace. Then, cut out the spalled bricks along with the mortar using the drill.

Next, replace the mortar, make sure you use a cement-based mortar or a mix of sand or lime. Then, apply the layer of mortar to the sides and slowly replace the bricks. Ensure the mortar is spread uniformly using a trowel.

How To Prevent Brick Spalling?

The best way to prevent brick spalling from taking place in the future is by ensuring that your chimney gets regular maintenance. There are some things that we cannot spot but the experts do. As mentioned earlier, the weather has to do a lot with brick spalling.

That means if you are living in colder regions with a significant amount of moisture, rain, and all other external factors, you will need to be extra careful about your chimney. Moreover, always choose an expert to look after your chimney.

Not only will an expert perform maintenance but also inspect the chimney for cracks and damage and fix them before they turn serious. This can help you from huge trouble down the road if the issues go unnoticed.

Final Word

Concluding, brick spalling mostly takes place when homeowners tend to ignore maintenance. Make sure that you follow the tips mentioned above and consult chimney repair Columbia MD services to fix the issue. But if the issue is minor, you can try fixing it on your own.