Brick masonry chimneys are very useful in their purpose of removing wood or coal smoke from inside a brick house or apartment. They are also good for reducing the chance of fire due to the slow, hot combustion that occurs while burning these types of fuel. Because these chimneys tend to be used more often than others, they should be inspected every year at least, but preferably twice per year. To extend their life and avoid needing costly repairs it’s important to make sure your chimney is safe on the exterior first. Let’s explore how you can do this yourself with some steps below!
The installation process for brick masonry chimneys is not quite as simple as other types of chimneys. The first step is to have a mason create the brick face of the chimney. To do this, they need to lay down each individual course or filled in block by hand that makes up the wall of your brick chimney. A solid mortar joint should occur between every block that links them together tightly so they are sturdy enough to withstand heat and pressure from smoke being moved through it.
Chimney maintenance needs
The next step after installation is to seal whatever material your brick masonry chimney is made out of. This will prevent water from seeping in and causing the mortar joints to erode or start to crumble away. When brick masonry gets wet it does not dry as quickly as other types of materials, so water damage can affect its structural integrity if not dealt with using a proper sealing technique. A repointing technique should be used yearly on every year at least every other year for brick masonry chimneys because of how often they are used and their tendency for water damage over time. Repointing restores the mortar joints back to where they were originally located before erosion took place by filling them in with a mixture of sand and cement.
Brick Masonry Repair Needs
Repair work for brick masonry chimneys tends to happen more often than other types of chimneys because of their high usage rate and tendency to develop issues due to the surrounding environment. For example, if your brick masonry chimney is exposed to ice or snow melting off roofs near it and seeping down into the cracks it can cause severe problems over time. One such problem that could happen is spalling which occurs when moisture gets frozen inside its cracks and causes pieces to break off as it thaws again and again every year during winter months. The good news is that these repairs can be done without the need of a professional mason. You can do it yourself if you follow the steps below to learn how!
Beginning the repair process
To begin the repair process, you’ll first need to remove all loose pieces from around the brick chimney by soaking them in water and brushing them off once they’re soft enough to wipe away easily. Then take some mortar patching material such as masonry cement and mix it together with sand until its consistency becomes dough-like instead of liquid. Sandwich this mixture in between the mortar joints of your brick masonry chimney and push it into any gaps you find along its length. Once all the gaps are filled in, allow them to dry for around 15-20 minutes before using a wet sponge to smooth out any bumps or rough spots that may have been left behind during the compression process.
Lastly, use a damp masonry paint brush on anything else such as bricks you don’t want painted over due to discoloration or other reasons even if they were not repaired. Allow it time to completely dry according to product label instructions before moving onto another section of brick masonry chimney repair.
After following these steps, be sure to keep an eye on your brick masonry chimneys and repoint them every year at least every other year to keep problems from occurring in the future.
Contact Golden Hands
If you have a chimney with cracked or missing brick, call a professional mason instead of attempting repairs on your own. If you decide to do it yourself anyway without knowing what you are doing, you can cause even more damage or injure yourself. Golden hands Construction is an insured professional that can tackle this project for you.
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