One of the most important things you have to do when you have a masonry chimney is protecting it from water penetration. You may have heard how damaging water can be to the bricks and mortar of your chimney. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) claims that water is the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. What exactly does water do to masonry chimneys? The most common chimney water damage is spalling, and, unfortunately, many people do not understand what spalling is. Ashbusters would like to tell you more about spalling, how it affects your chimney, and how we can repair and prevent this damage.
What exactly is spalling?
If you live in the Nashville area, you most likely noticed how many potholes showed up on our roads after the big snow and ice storms of the past several years. These potholes are perfect examples of spalling damage. Masonry materials like bricks, mortar, and concrete are very porous and naturally absorb water. Since your chimney is always exposed to the elements, the bricks and mortar joints of your chimney will have moisture trapped inside. Spalling occurs in the winter when the temperature falls below freezing. That moisture trapped inside the masonry materials of your chimney freezes and expands, and when it thaws as the weather warms back up, the force of the water can cause the bricks and mortar joints to crack, break apart, and even become loose and fall from the chimney. This damage is serious because not only does it allow water to easily enter your chimney but also because it can lead to serious structural damage if left neglected. Repeated spalling damage can even cause the collapse of your chimney.
How can Ashbusters repair and prevent spalling?
Our certified and experienced masons are experts in fixing chimney spalling damage. We use masonry techniques like tuckpointing to remove damaged bricks and mortar and replace these masonry materials to make your chimney safe and sound again. We take great care to make these repairs look like the rest of your existing chimney to make it look like it was never damaged in the first place. After we repair spalling damage, we recommend preventing this type of deterioration by waterproofing your chimney. We will apply a coat of a waterproofing formula designed for bricks and mortar that creates a barrier against water penetration. This formula is 100% vapor permeable , which is important because it allows vapors and gases to escape the bricks and mortar. If these vapors are trapped, they can cause even more spalling damage. Ashbusters recommends waterproofing as an important investment in maintaining your chimney and prolong its life. This service has a 10 year warranty, so you will be protected from chimney spalling damage for a decade!
Keep spalling damage from deteriorating your masonry chimney. Contact us at Ashbusters to schedule an appointment for our waterproofing service today to protect your chimney this winter.