What is spalling?
Spalling is used to describe when the surface of brick or stone flakes or breaks off, exposing the porous area underneath. You may see brick that has fallen off your chimney around your yard or can see the exposed areas where the front of the brick has flaked off.
What causes spalling in a chimney?
Extreme weather cycles such as excessive rainy warm seasons along with winters with frigid temperatures can have an impact on the stone inside and outside of your chimney. Eventually the excess moisture and the expansion and contraction due to the freezing and thawing cycles can cause the brick’s surface to crack and break off. If allowed to progress, it can cause serious damage to your chimney! In addition to the structural damage that occurs to the chimney, the broken brick can fall into the flue, causing dangerous blockages.
What can I do to protect my home from spalling?
- Schedule a chimney inspection Even if you don’t see obvious signs of spalling, it’s a good idea to have your chimney inspected annually by a CSIA certified chimney expert. The sooner you catch problems, the less costly it is to fix it!
- Make repairs Repairing cracks that have occurred but haven’t led to spalling yet is a good way to keep moisture out.
- Replace damaged bricks Bricks that have already succumbed to spalling will need to be replaced. Once the damage is done there isn’t any way to fix it. Depending on how much damage there is, the whole chimney may have to rebuilt.
- Use a sealant Masonry water repellant and sealant can be applied to bricks that are not already damaged by spalling. Sealant will help keep moisture out and prevent damage. This is something that will need to be reapplied every three to five years.
- Install or replace your chimney cap A good chimney cap can help prevent a whole lot of woes. It helps keep moisture out of your chimney as well as other unwelcome things such as animals and insects.
Give North American Chimney and Gutter Corp. a call to stay on top of all your chimney issues!