Your chimney was designed to withstand heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, and anything else Mother Nature tries to throw at it. However, even a well-built chimney will start to succumb to the elements after years of service. Furthermore, if your chimney is not well maintained, you may start having issues with your chimney’s structure sooner, rather than later. At Leonard & Sons, we think it’s important that you are able to identify issues with your masonry. Identifying a masonry issue before it becomes a larger problem can help save you time, money and may also prevent a hazardous situation. Listed below are a few common signs that your masonry needs to be inspected by an experienced mason.

Loose or crumbling mortar

Mortar, the hard white stuff between your bricks, is a cement-like mixture used to bond together your brickwork. However, over time, water, heat, and ice can cause this bond to weaken, allowing the mortar to detach from bricks. Once the mortar detaches from a brick, it can no longer serve it purpose. This means that your brickwork isn’t held together as well, weakening the entire structure of your chimney.

You will be able to tell if your mortar is compromised by looking between the bricks of your chimney. If you notice any cracking, crumbling, or missing mortar, we can help you. The most common repair for mortar damage is a procedure called tuckpointing in which old mortar is removed and replaced with new mortar. At Leonard & Sons, our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified masons will make your chimney mortar look and function like new.

Water Damage

Water is your masonry’s worst enemy. When water is absorbed into tiny pores within your chimney mortar and brickwork, deterioration is accelerated. This is especially true in areas where is get cold enough to freeze, allowing absorbed water to expand, weakening you masonry. Water is also responsible for masonry settlement issues, brickwork stains and other deterioration issues. If you notice chimney deterioration, loose brickwork, or brickwork stains, it’s probably time to set up an appointment with one of our CSIA-certified masons.

Remember, even if you don’t notice any water issues with your masonry, it’s important to keep your chimney cap well maintained and in place. Your chimney cap is your masonry’s first line of defense and can help prevent water-related issues.

Other issues

If you notice any other issues, such as cracks or holes in your masonry, there may be any number of reasons why this is occurring. If in doubt, our certified masonry experts at Leonard & Sons can help analyze and repair your masonry. If you’re ready for a masonry inspection, call us today at 847-658-7659 or schedule an appointment online with one of our expert masons today.