A chimney is said to last for around 8 to 10 decades but it does not mean it does not go through damage or wear and tear. For a hazard free chimney and fireplace, it is recommended to do chimney repair and maintenance annually. The most common and the most dangerous thing for you is a crumbling chimney. Let’s know more about it.
What Is A Crumbling Chimney?
A crumbling chimney is when the mortar and masonry of the chimney is exposed to severe wear and tear and crumbles and falls off. This leads to weakened alignment of the bricks of the chimney. The bricks are supported by the tough mortar and when the mortar falls off then the bricks are likely to fall. This is very dangerous as it can cause serious injuries to people, pets and property surrounding the area. In fact it can cause damage to the roof of the house and also the people living inside. Next, the cost of rebuilding the chimney can get quite costly. If you notice even the slightest bit of crumble or spalling of the bricks then you should repair it ASAP. However, the drawback is that it is never noticeable in the earliest stage but only when the matters become words.
Apart from the exterior chimney, crumbling is also caused in the interior parts. The by-product of wood burning is soot and creosote which is an inflammable, sticky, tar-like substance, which accumulates on the interior walls of the chimney and increases overtime. This creosote also weakens the interior masonry of the chimney leading to spalling bricks and mortar. When the mortar becomes loose, the fire and smoke can seep through the gaps leading to dangerous house fires as well.
Inspection Is Important
Due to this reason, it is recommended to get your chimney inspected by a professional annually so all the issues could be addressed and your chimney lasts long and works perfectly.
Causes Of A Crumbling Chimney
Water Or Moisture Seepage
Water is the number one cause of spalling bricks or crumbling chimney and one that is unavoidable. Weather conditions such as rainfall, snowfall, winds and storms all cause water to travel in the chimney which seeps down the bricks and the mortar joints thus weakening them and causing the mortar to fall off. When this happens the water can easily travel through the cracks and further weaken the structure of the chimney.
Cold And Harsh Weather
If you live in countries where the winters are harsh then it causes the water seeped inside to freeze and expand. When it thaws in warmer weather it leads to destruction of the bricks, mortar and the interior and exterior masonry of the chimney. And this process is not a one time process but is repeated continuously which puts an effect on the bricks and mortar thus causing them to crumble and fall off.
Quality Of Bricks And Mortar
The quality of the bricks and mortar used is cheap. If you do not use sturdy bricks and good quality mortar, then it will wear off and crumble at its earliest leading to frequent chimney repairs.
Sometimes you may use a high water pressure or a sandblaster to clean the chimney. This high pressure mechanism causes the mortar to crumble and fall thus weakening the structure of the chimney.
Not Getting Your Chimney Sweeped And Cleaned
Annual cleaning of your chimney is necessary by a professional chimney sweep. This sweeping and cleaning clears of all the creosote and soot thus leading to an efficiently working chimney. Annual chimney inspection is also important to get your chimney assessed for any problems or issues which could be repaired at the earliest.
The solutions to the problems are avoiding the causes of the crumbling and this can only happen with inspection of your chimney. Through inspection you will be notified of the issue which you can solve before the problems become worse. Apart from repairing and fixing, it is important to fix the root cause to ensure an efficiently working and a long-lasting chimney. Moreover, hire chimney contractors Columbia MD who are experienced in chimney inspection and repairs to have a long lasting without needing repairs too often.