Nothing spells out a comfortable and charming home more than a brick fireplace with a chimney. With continued use and because of the effects of weathering, however, chimney cracks will affect the chimney. These cracks are caused by solar exposure, which causes the masonry to expand, and exposure to cold during winter, which severely causes the chimney liner and flue to contract. The cumulative effect is massive shrinking. If your chimney shows signs of cracking, here are quick home repair options that you can undertake.
Find the cracks. First, find the cracks. Do this by inspecting the exterior of the chimney. Check if the chimney is beginning to lean to one side, which can mean that the support structure has given in. do this from all angles, since a leaning chimney is not always apparent depending on where you are standing. Next, examine the brick work on the chimney, and check if there are bricks that have fallen off. Climb the roofing and assess the condition of the mortar in the chimney, since cracks can develop here. Look for obstructions such as hives and nests on the cover.
Seal with masonry caulking substances. If the mortar has cracked, use caulking substances to repair this. First, remove the broken down mortar by using a cold chisel. Scrap away at the mortar until the chimney structure is visible. Take ready to mix mortar and use this to cover the flue. You will need a trowel to help you shape the mortar. Shape the mortar into a slant that covers the entire flue. The mortar will seal the chimney flue from rain and dirt. Keep in mind that the mortar should remain damp for several days in order for it to cure. Curing allows the mortar to withstand the rain and heat.
Replace bricks. For bricks that have fallen off, take a brick that has the same size and dimensions as the old brick. If finding identical bricks is not possible – such as in older homes where the construction materials are no longer in production – you can use other types of bricks that you can paint once installed in the chimney. Apply mortar on all sides of the hole left by the fallen brick, and then insert the new brick. This should seal off the chimney.
Check your home insurance policy. Finally, check your home insurance policy to see whether chimney damage is covered. Structural damages on the chimney, such as when the chimney has begun to lean, cannot be repaired by simple mortar placement. You will need professional help to straighten leaning chimneys whose foundations have become soft. These types of repairs will require heavy machinery and skilled workers, especially if you have tall chimneys that pass through several rooms in the house.
If your chimney begins to show signs of wear and tear, do not brush away the problem since chimney cracks can lead to home fires. Cracks and other damage on the chimney-K can allow heat and smoke to spread inside the house. Through these steps, ensuring that your chimney is safe and functional is easy.