So Your Chimney Is Cracking: Key Things To Know About Chimney Masonry Work

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Most chimneys are made from bricks. They are durable, but they do not last forever. If your chimney is cracking, or if you've noticed that a few bricks are out of place, then it's a good idea to contact a masonry professional. A chimney mason should be able to repair your brick chimney, making it safe and functional once again. Here are the key things to know about their work.

The chimney mason may not need to replace the actual bricks.

If the bricks themselves are in decent shape, the mason is unlikely to remove them from your chimney. Doing so is a lot of work and could put the chimney at a greater risk of additional damage. Instead, your mason may recommend a procedure called tuckpointing. First, they will use a chisel or a hammer to remove the mortar from the very outside of the chimney. Then, they will put new mortar into these areas. The new mortar will harden and hold the bricks in place, even if those bricks do have some minor damage. A mason can usually tuckpoint a chimney one section at a time, which reduces the risk of the whole thing falling down while they are working.

If the bricks are damaged, you may want a new chimney.

If there are some bricks that are badly crumbling or cracking, your chimney mason will consider the location of those bricks before removing them. If the bricks are near the top of the chimney, the mason can remove the bricks down to that point, and then they can replace the most damaged bricks. On the other hand, if the damaged bricks are further down, your mason may recommend just having the chimney replaced. Building a chimney with new bricks is often much easier than reusing the old bricks that have mortar stuck to them.

Your mason should check on your chimney liner.

Chimneys have a metal or ceramic liner down the middle. This is a solid piece of material and ensures the fumes going up your chimney go all of the way up, rather than passing through gaps between bricks. Your chimney mason should always look over the liner when they're working on your chimney. If needed, they can replace the liner.

Now that you know a little more about the process, it is always a good idea to contact a company like Tough Build Masonry & Construction to learn more.

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