There is something quite majestic about a brick fireplace and the warmth – both physically and aesthetically- that it provides to a home. They offer a nostalgic, cozy charm to any home and can last for years. However, this does not mean that a brick fireplace will last forever and never need any repair work done.
Think about it. The fireplace and chimney is one of the few elements of your home that take “abuse” from both within and without. Your brick fireplace receives damage from within as flames, soot, and smoke go up, and from outside as the chimney is prevailed upon by the elements of nature. This frequent bombardment makes it necessary to occasionally need repair work.
It should be noted that chimney repairs are generally not recommended as a DIY project, as they require special skills and tools to do it so that the repair(s) made match the original work, and ensure that the structural integrity of your chimney is not compromised. In the event that you have an older Texas home, it is even more vital that you hire a professional chimney repair team as older structures often used materials that are no longer common in today’s buildings.
Typically, masonry chimneys are built using materials such as concrete, mortar, stone, flue tile, steel, and cast iron in addition to the expected bricks and mortar. Consequently, the wise homeowner takes the time to periodically inspect for signs of damage such as cracking, spalling, loose bricks or any type of deterioration.
Perhaps one of the most common problems with brick chimneys is that of water penetration, as this can affect both the inside and outside of your home. Some common problems due to water penetration include:
- Chimney settlement
- Clogged clean out area
- Collapsed hearth support
- Cracked or deteriorated flue lining system
- Decayed exterior mortar
- Deteriorated central heating system
- Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox assemblies
- Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
- Rusted damper assemblies
- Rusted fireplace accessories and glass doors
- Stained chimney exterior
- Tilted or collapsed chimney structure
- Water stained walls and ceiling
Each of these can be frustrating to deal with, and will often end up costing far more than the initial chimney repair would have.
As water can be so damaging to your chimney, it is important to talk to a chimney repair pro about waterproofing options. One such option is to install a cricket, which is designed to deflect water from the chimney – these are especially important on steep roofs. Another common approach to waterproofing your chimney is to have a chimney expert such as the Omega team to use a special product designed to prevent water from seeping inside, while still allowing the chimney to breathe. Both of these chimney repair options are great for ensuring your home’s chimney will last for years.
Chimney repairs can be kept to minimum with careful care, and by taking action the first time you notice that there is any sign of trouble. If you are uncertain as to the state of your chimney, talk to a masonry professional today. The Omega Masonry team is here to answer your questions and to see that your chimney is in prime working condition.