Have you recently noticed that your chimney is damaged? If so, chances are the damage is a type of chimney spalling. Some chimneys with spalling may only have broken bricks, but sometimes advanced chimney spalling might result from missing bricks. If you rarely or never use your chimney, you might be surprised at the amount of damage. The following are a few causes of chimney spalling.
Your chimney is exposed to the elements, and this means that the wind, rain, acid rain, snow, heat, and hail can all cause it to wear down over time. These elements deteriorate the external portion of the chimney masonry and make it susceptible to cracks. When cracks in the masonry form, moisture from the elements can result in more extensive damage such as broken bricks. A good option to avoid environmental damage is to have an annual chimney inspection.
Many people use pressure washers to keep their siding clean. Some people perform thorough pressure wash cleanings on the exterior of their properties during the spring or summer. Or, perhaps you hire someone to pressure wash your home. There are pressure settings than can be set too high to pressure wash a chimney. The incorrect pressure setting can cause cracks in the masonry. If a chimney has already started spalling, the pressure could force bricks away from the chimney.
Age and Quality of Materials
Perhaps you have an older home, and you have never had to have your chimney repaired. Chimneys are generally made to last for years, but at some point spalling can be expected, especially if chimneys are not inspected regularly. Older chimneys may also be in great condition if they were constructed of quality materials. Whereas, a chimney on a home that is only a few years old and showing signs of spalling might be due to substandard materials being used to construct the chimney or the installation process may have been completed incorrectly.
A chimney repair professional is a good resource to use to determine the best approach to fixing your chimney. They may need to replace some or all of the bricks. A technique referred to as tuck-pinning might also correct the damages. Do not attempt to use your chimney if it shows signs of spalling because it may expose your family to carbon monoxide. This is an odorless gas that you will not be able to see or smell. Click here for info on chimney repair.