Masonry chimney like other brick materials over time suffer damages over time. Few damages are of the run-of-the-mill sort and active or homeowner or a non workaholic who has a little time to spear could handle it. On the other hand, Most damages would require major repairs and upgrade. In such cases, a building engineer is brought in to get all the brickworks involved done. Listed below are common problems associated with chimney.
Fragmented or Broken Bricks
This is the most common and obvious form of damage associated with chimney. Chimney bricks repair are held tightly together with mortar and covered with moisture impermeable materials forming the outer shells for the fact that the bricks itself are not moisture resistant. Over time, the outer shells wear out or loose and moisture penetrate into the bricks which become fragmented.
Basically, the use of wrong compression rate during mixture and application of mortar results in broken chimney bricks. There is a formula used for mixing mortar to be applied to chimney bricks. Much water is used, coarse and aggregates are less and much of fine sand is used. This way, the mortar will be moisture absorbent. When this standard is compromised, the mortal be too weak or strong. If mortar is weak it will wear out pretty quickly and if too strong it will be less moisture absorbent, holding the bricks way too tight.
Using the Wrong bricks for a job
All chimney bricks are equal, but some are more equal than others. Some bricks are manufactured to withstand shock from any climates while others aren’t. Adding to that, some are meant to be used for interior brick works. But others, not. Using the wrong bricks for a job which is attributed to the do-it-yourself stuff is one hell of a problem. If bricks intended for building interiors are used for areas exposed to whether, it is only a question of months or a couple of years and the bricks will wear out.
Damages due to spraying and sandblasting during cleaning
Bricks are protected with moisture resistant materials as pointed out earlier. High pressure sandblasting and spraying activities during maintenance inhibits the rigidity of the materials to reduce it moisture resisting ability.
All the damages afore listed usually result from lack of proper maintenance. Some chimney owners are a little mean to employ a building engineer to handle their chimney repair. For the most part, they would want to handle it all by themselves. It is pretty cool to undertake a repair if the amount of work involved in an upgrade or repair is not much. However, for brick works characterized by heavy workload like the ones discussed in this piece, using professional hands is not an option.