Whether your chimney is new or old, large or small, stone or brick, weather can wreak havoc on the structure. In our region of the Pacific Northwest, sea winds and rain filled with heavy minerals can batter even the best-made chimneys. Freezing winter temperatures and high levels of precipitation throughout the year can add to this damage, destroying not just the chimney but also other parts of the home. Prevent chimney leaks, a drop in efficiency, and safety hazards by having your masonry damage repaired as soon as possible.
Extend the Life of Your Chimney With Inspections
You may not notice minor damages to your chimney surface. Small cracks here and there caused by seismic activity, foundation settlement, and weather damage can go unnoticed for quite some time before a homeowner notices. There are a few reasons for this: the damage is out of sight, the homeowner doesn’t recognize the cracks as damaged, and the chimney is never looked at. Really it’s not the homeowner’s job to identify damage to the chimney. This is because most homeowners don’t even know what to look for. As a homeowner with a chimney system, your responsibility to your family and to your investment (your home) is to schedule routine professional services that will keep your chimney working well and lasting a lifetime. Schedule an annual inspection so that a certified chimney sweep gets a look at your appliance and chimney. During this appointment, your fireplace and flue will be cleaned and assessed as well as the exterior masonry. At Pristine Sweeps, our techs know where to look. They’ll complete a thorough report, and present you with a repair plan if necessary. If your bricks are damaged, you’ll need repairs right away to have a properly-functioning system and to prevent more damage and costly repairs.
Fixing Masonry in Seattle, Washington
Licensed professionals who have the proper training and equipment to get the job done can repair your bricks in no time. In and around Seattle, Pristine Sweeps has been repairing masonry for new and old customers for over ten years. When our friends and neighbors have a concern, they call Pristine Sweeps.
- Freeze/Thaw Cycle – When the bricks become loose, mortar is cracked, and your chimney has gaps and cracks, it’s time to call a professional. This is called “spalling” masonry and can allow water into gaps and cracks, leading to even more damage. During the winter months, the water that fills these spaces will freeze and expand, breaking apart the mortar. Then when it melts again, it moves further into the damaged masonry, repeating this process all winter long.
- Spalling Masonry – Spalling masonry is dangerous for other reasons also. As the mortar is damaged and bricks become loose, the chimney itself can become a hazard as bricks fall onto the roof and yard below. Falling bricks can ruin the structure of your chimney, damage your roof, and fall onto people and pets in the yard.
- Municipal Codes – Your community may have municipal codes that require structures on your property to be structurally sound. If the exterior of your chimney has visible damage, depending on your community, you may get a citation from your code enforcement office.
The Tuckpointing Process to Restore Chimneys
At Pristine Sweeps, our team of experts is experienced in fixing masonry. When we assess a chimney and find spalling masonry our first course of action is to schedule a tuckpointing session to restore the masonry. This is a necessary appointment to fix the spalling masonry, replace the mortar, and protect your chimney against further damage.
- The damaged masonry is removed carefully
- Old mortar is removed from bricks
- New mortar is mixed that matches the old in color, texture, and strength
- Bricks are replaced with the new mortar
- The masonry should be sealed with a vapor-permeable water repellent that prevents water penetration year after year, season after season.
Our masons never leave a mess behind and we ensure our customers that this process may sound daunting, but the repair is seamless. Your new masonry will look as if it’s been part of your chimney all along and the waterproofing agent we use doesn’t change the appearance of your masonry in the least. In fact, by having your masonry repaired, your home’s curb appeal will improve substantially (which is important before a sale or refinancing).
If you reside in the Seattle area and own a home or property with a chimney system, make sure you schedule annual maintenance with Pristine Sweeps. We assess and maintain your chimney so that damages are prevented and the fireplace works safely. When damages do occur, we catch them early and correct them right away. When the damage is noticeable to the untrained eye, this is a serious problem and a professional needs to intervene right away.
Call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 to schedule your chimney service, consultation, or repair today.