Difficult Chimney Repairs

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Masonry chimney repairs can be difficult to do yourself, especially if they are widespread over a lot of the area of the chimney. Extensive damage often requires the chimney to be partially or completely rebuilt, but sometimes a quality do-it-yourself repair will suffice. A good chimney repair takes a lot of time and effort. As with any aspect of home improvement, cutting corners on creates more work and causes more money to need to be spent than having done it the right way the first time. Doing it right, the first time, is a motto that all of my service men operate by and is a good starting place for do-it-yourselfers.

Take for example the tuckpointing repair, which constitutes repairing crumbling or missing mortar joints on the chimney. This is a difficult repair for homeowners who are not experienced in masonry repairs because of the various tools it requires as well as the finishing the look of the mortar so that it looks professional and not sloppy. One of the more difficult aspects is cleaning out the mortar from in between the bricks in the first place. It is imperative to be careful when using the chisel and hammer because trying to move too quickly will result in damaging the brick.

Brick Repair
This damaged brick is being removed so that it can be replaced and sealed with a water repellent.

Another tricky repair is actually removing and replacing a damaged brick or a few damaged brick from the chimney. This repair can be difficult mainly due to the fact that the actual removal of brick takes a certain level of caution in order to not cause damage to surrounding brick. If you have only a handful of damaged brick on the chimney and the surrounding brick are generally in good condition, you can actually cut out and replace the offending brick. This requires careful cutting of of the mortar and then cleaning the mortar out of the joints to install new brick.

Cracks in brick are less difficult to repair because no cutting of the brick involved, only careful sealing and water proofing. Cracks in your brick can happen for any number of reasons from a shifting foundation to water damage, but carefully sealing cracks and then water proofing the entire affected area is the only way to prevent similar damage from occurring again. If you believe your brick is cracking due to shifting foundation, you will need to bring in a professional to decide why the problem is occurring. If your brick is cracking due to water damage, then this is certainly a DIY repair. Use a silicon seal to seal the cracks from water penetration and then a water repellent over the entire area.

I recommend using a water repellent after any repair, whether you are cutting out and replacing brick, tuckpointing mortar joints, or sealing cracks in the brick. Since this damage occurred in the first place and most of the damage I’ve discussed is caused, generally in some part, by water, applying a deep penetrating water repellent over the entire area is a wise investment because it will protect your repair and the area from further damage.

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Chimney Waterproofing – Can Water Damage Really Destroy Your Masonry Chimney?

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

crown1 016Here in Cincinnati, I’m sure I don’t speak for myself when I say I have a new respect for hurricanes. We recently experienced hurricane force winds that caused more damage to chimneys than this city has seen in a while. When someone thinks of a hurricane, lots of water comes to mind, and when it comes to chimneys, few things are more detrimental to its life and quality than water damage. Not to mention there are few things more aggravating than the drip, drip, drip of water entering the chimney, resonating through your home and eventually through your very soul… Well, it may not be that annoying but no one wants to have to write a check for a major chimney overhaul due to moisture damage when it is easily preventable.

crown with moss growingWater Damage: A $1 Billion Per Year Problem

This damage comes in the form of staining, loss of insulation value, freeze-thaw damage, deterioration, and ultimately, structural failure. In light of this, I’d like to discuss a few systems, products, and techniques to ensure your family is safe, warm, and dry this hurricane or winter season, whichever you are preparing for.

Masonry chimneys are more prone to water damage than the rest of your home because they extend far above the roofline, unprotected from the elements. Waterproofing is a good idea because it protects the mortar joints from moisture entry and helps a repair last longer.

Waterproofing and Sealers

chimneysaver-buynowAs far as waterproofing goes, Chimneysaver© is a ” Professional Grade ” product we use out in the field. It’s important to know the difference between waterproofers and sealers. ChimneySaver is not a sealer. Sealers and silicone coatings form a water resistant surface film which traps water vapors. If these vapors cannot escape, they will add to the deterioration of your brick.

Your chimney needs to breathe, which is why we use Chimneysaver©. It’s 100% breathable, or vapor permeable, meaning water vapor trapped inside the brick can easily pass through it. This is a non film-forming water repellent that will penetrate and line masonry pores to prevent water from deteriorating the brick.

Visit our web-store   —->  www.FireplaceAndChimneySupply.com

Mortar Joint Repair

crackmagik-buynowBefore you waterproof, make sure all the mortar joints are in good condition. If there’s any cracks or missing pieces of mortar, you may need to do some tuckpointing. If the cracks aren’t severe, you may be able to apply a brushable product called Crack & Joint Sealant. Think of it like a brushable caulk that dries semi-clear. This waterproofs the gaps and cracks in the mortar up to 1/8″.

Waterproofing your masonry chimney can preserve your chimney and prevent water damage and deterioration. A good water repellent normally only needs to be applied once every 5-10 years and will save you the headache of having to replace or rebuild your chimney.

Take time to look at our two ” Ask The Chimney Sweep videos

1-Chimney Leaks

https://youtu.be/hNU-W7YmI5E

2-Leaking Roof

https://youtu.be/7djc7ayYJWs

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