What To Do When Crumbling Bricks Are Spotted
A well-constructed brick chimney can provide decades of service, protecting your home from smoke, flames, and harmful contaminants when using your gas or wood-burning heating appliance, such as a fireplace, insert, or stove.
The Central Savannah River Area and South Carolina Midlands have a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. The area averages nearly four feet of rain annually, mainly in the summer. In addition, some areas receive freezing rain, snow, and ice. The moisture from the changing weather throughout the year can cause the deterioration of bricks and mortar. Mortar is much softer than brick, so it typically erodes first, providing a channel for moisture to penetrate nearby bricks. This can cause the bricks to crumble or spall.
If you reside between Columbia, SC, and Augusta, GA, and spot crumbling bricks on your chimney, call advanced Chimney to schedule an inspection as soon as possible. Without immediate repair, your chimney could be in danger of collapsing, which could cause tremendous damage to your roof and home.
What Causes Crumbling or Spalling Bricks?
Spalling brick is a common problem affecting our region’s chimneys and other masonry structures. It is caused by moisture seeping into the bricks and then freezing and thawing. Over time, this can cause the bricks to crack, flake, and even crumble.
Do Spalled Bricks Need to be Replaced?
Whether or not spalled bricks need to be replaced depends on the severity of the spalling. Mild spalling may only be a cosmetic issue, but more severe spalling can weaken the structural integrity of the brick and may need to be replaced. We may recommend tuckpointing, repointing, or individual brick replacement upon inspection. However, partial or complete chimney rebuilding may be the best option for severe crumbling bricks.
How To Prevent Crumbling Bricks in Orangeburg, SC
Preventing crumbling bricks is an essential aspect of chimney maintenance. It will help ensure the safety and longevity of your chimney. Crumbling bricks often indicate water damage that can lead to structural issues if ignored. Here are some tips to protect the chimney from spalling bricks:
- Hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect your chimney annually.
- Install a chimney cap or chase cover to help deflect water away from the chimney.
- Inspect the chimney crown for damage after a significant storm.
- Install a chimney cricket to protect the flashing from moisture damage.
- Repair minor masonry damage immediately to prevent crumbling bricks.
- Waterproof your chimney with a breathable, vapor-permeated sealant formulated for masonry chimneys.
Advanced Chimney has over 20 years of experience in chimney repair and maintenance.
We serve the entire Central Savannah River Area and South Carolina Midlands region, including Evans, GA; Martinez, GA; Aiken, SC; Lexington, SC; and all points in between. Call (803) 508-3990 or (706) 833-4630 today to schedule an appointment, or contact us online.