There are ways to know when things aren’t working right. If your water pressure isn’t what it should be, you may have a leak somewhere. If your car starts jerking when you’re driving, you need to take it into the repair shop. There are also signs when your chimney isn’t in the state of repair that it needs to be in in order to help your fires burn effectively, safely, and efficiently. Now that it’s summer, it’s important that you take a close look at your chimney to see if any of these signs are present.
One of the easier ways to check on your chimney mortar is to take a walk around the outside of your house and take a close look at the mortar. First, touch it. It shouldn’t be flaky or crumbly. Take a look at the ground at the base of the chimney. If you see white flecks or flakes, your chimney has a condition called spalling. This means that there is too much water entering the surface of the brick or mortar, and it causes the top layer to pop or flake off. If left untreated, this condition can cause instability in the structure of your chimney, and that can pose a threat to the safety of you and your family.
Another sign that your mortar isn’t what it should be is efflorescence. If you look at your brick and see a white or gray, oftentimes sparkly coating on the brick surface of the chimney, you are seeing efflorescence. This is actually a salt layer that is coming up from your bricks. If you’ve applied a sealant to your chimney, it can appear as a white blush under the sealant, and that should be very concerning to you. This salt could be coming from the interior of the brick itself, or it could be in the Portland cement that is holding the bricks together.
The mortar joints of your chimney are the spaces between the bricks which are filled with mortar to hold them together. There shouldn’t be any open spots in those spaces, because when there are, it means that the mortar will become more absorbent and weaker. This means that there may be structural damage to the chimney itself.
What to Do
Now that you know the signs, what should be done about it? Discovering signs of mortar damage isn’t difficult, and fixing that damage isn’t difficult, either. All you need to do is give Jiminy Chimney Masonry and Repair a call. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, and our employees are CSIA certified and we belong to the National Chimney Sweep Guild, so we have the training and the experience to do the job right. Call us soon and get your chimney fixed before summer is in full swing!