Over time, the mortar that holds your chimney bricks together can degrade. If this occurs, it can leak smoke, carbon monoxide, and stray embers into your home.
You can check the integrity of your mortar by running a screwdriver across it. If the mortar becomes soft and crumbles, it needs to be repaired with tuckpointing. Contact Chimney Repair Baltimore now!
A chimney is an important home part, providing warmth and ambiance. It also protects the home and its occupants from dangerous fires caused by unburnt fuel. The mortar between the bricks is a vital part of this support system, and when it crumbles, it can threaten the overall structural integrity of the chimney.
Crumbling mortar is a sign that the chimney needs to be repaired. Often, the problem will begin with the mortar between vertical bricks. This mortar can become loose and fall apart, leaving gaps. Over time, these gaps can get bigger, allowing rain to penetrate the masonry structure and cause damage. In addition, the gaps may also create a barrier that prevents airflow through the chimney, leading to creosote buildup and fires.
To repair the crumbling mortar, a process called repointing must be completed. This involves removing the old mortar and bricks from the damaged area and replacing them with new mortar. The best mortar type combines lime, sand, and cement, providing strength and flexibility. This will help ensure the mortar doesn’t become brittle over time.
This is a labor-intensive job that requires the use of tools like cold chisels and hammers. It is also important not to damage the bricks or the surrounding masonry. In addition, it is necessary to use mortar that matches the original material used in the chimney. For example, the new mortar should be similar if the chimney was built using Portland cement. Otherwise, the new mortar will crack and break apart the bricks over time.
To complete the repointing process, it is necessary to wet the bricks with water. This will prevent the new mortar from drying too quickly. A damp sponge works well for this purpose, as it will also remove any dust and debris from the surface of the brick.
Brushing out the joints with a stiff broom after the mortar has been applied is also important. Finally, the bricks should be brushed again to remove any smears or dust that have gathered on the surface of the mortar. Once the bricks are clean, the chimney can be re-tarred and allowed to cure.
The brick that forms the chimney crown is a structurally vital part of your chimney, and any cracks or crumbling can compromise its ability to protect your home. Cracks in the crown let water and moisture penetrate through and down into the masonry. Over time, that can damage the chimney structure and lead to serious roof and wall damage.
Small cracks that remain unrepaired can widen dramatically in the summer, allowing more and more water to seep in. That can damage the chimney, your roof, drywall, insulation, wood studs, or floors. The best way to prevent this is to have your chimney professionally inspected and repaired as soon as you notice any cracks or loose bricks.
A professional can recommend a permanent repair solution such as tuckpointing or repointing, where old mortar joints are replaced with fresh new mortar. Tuckpointing involves grinding the existing mortar, cleaning the brick, and applying the new mortar in layers. To ensure that the repaired areas are sealed against water penetration, misting the new mortar and covering it with a waterproof sealant after it is set up is important.
Chimney deterioration can also lead to loose or missing bricks, especially in the flue walls that line the interior of the chimney stack and allow smoke, gases, and creosote to vent up through the chimney. A damaged or loose flue wall is a major safety hazard because it can cause hot exhaust to leak past the chimney and into your house, possibly poisoning your family with carbon monoxide.
Loose or missing bricks can be repaired with a specialized mortar mix that adheres to masonry and concrete. A professional can apply the product using a special trowel and may need a heat gun to help it set up. Once it dries, the chimney sweep will cover it with a waterproof sealant to prevent it from being damaged by rain and snow.
A reputable chimney sweep will inspect your chimney for signs of deterioration and recommend the best solution to prevent costly damage. They can tell you if the problem is something that a do-it-yourselfer can fix or if it requires a professional to install a new flue liner or other replacement parts.
While dental crowns are designed to look and function just like natural teeth, they can still be damaged by physical injury or general wear and tear. A cracked crown is a serious issue that can lead to bacterial infection in the tooth socket and further damage if not addressed quickly.
Depending on the location, type, and size of the crack, your dentist may be able to repair it without replacing the entire crown. For example, a small hairline crack in a porcelain crown that is not visible to the naked eye can be repaired with composite bonding.
However, a larger crack in a ceramic or porcelain crown that is visibly cracked or chipped should be replaced immediately. While this is more costly, it will protect the underlying tooth from bacteria and other issues arising when a cracked crown is left untreated.
A cracked crown isn’t always painful; if the pain level is mild to moderate, some over-the-counter painkillers may help. Regardless, it is important to contact your dentist immediately and make an appointment to have it repaired as soon as possible.
There are several reasons why a dental crown may break, including habitual behaviors such as chewing on pens or pencils, biting down on hard items such as popcorn kernels or ice cubes, grinding or clenching your teeth, and even accidents such as falling while playing sports that can result in a blow to the mouth. A problem with the material or a defect during the manufacture of the crown can also cause a cracked crown.
If your dental crown is cracked, you must contact your dentist immediately. A crack in a dental crown exposes the underlying tooth to an increased risk of bacteria and decay, and you will likely experience discomfort and sensitivity until it is fixed. If you can’t get in to see your dentist immediately, it is a good idea to try using a temporary adhesive or dental cement to cover the crack. Your dentist will be able to recommend the best long-term solution.
While most homeowners don’t think about their chimneys, white residue that develops on the surface of brick can signal a serious problem. Often known as efflorescence, this powdery white substance isn’t just an eyesore but a sign of moisture damage that may lead to the chimney’s structural deterioration.
Efflorescence results from soluble salt particles in the masonry that seep into and evaporate from water passing through the wall. This moisture is typically caused by rain or warm air from your home’s gas and wood-burning appliances condensing on the cold brick walls. As the water moves through and evaporates, it leaves behind white salt particles visible on your chimney’s surface. Depending on the mineral content of your brick, these can have a fluffy or fuzzy appearance.
Moisture is your chimney’s biggest enemy; it ruins brick, mortar, and concrete and can cause many other problems for your entire system. Moisture also promotes the growth of mold and other harmful fungi. If left untreated, mold and fungi can ruin the safety of your home and put your family’s health at risk.
When moisture is allowed to seep into your masonry chimney, it can become damaged and corrode the metal components. This can lead to the chimney’s failure or create a dangerous situation for your family and pets. Water that leaks into your chimney can also damage your roof and other structures in your home. Chimney repair professionals can restore and waterproof your chimney to prevent future water damage.
Your chimney’s crown is the concrete cap atop your chimney’s masonry structure. It is designed to prevent rainwater from seeping into the brick and dissolving the salt particles. However, cracks, gaps, missing mortar, a cracked chimney liner, or poorly installed flashing can allow water to enter your chimney and create many problems for you and your family.
Annual chimney inspections will help identify potential moisture damage before it becomes an issue. A professional chimney sweep can tuckpoint your chimney to fill in gaps and mortar cracks that can let water into the masonry structure. They can also install a flue liner sized appropriately for your fireplace to stop condensation and moisture from damaging your chimney.