Spalling Brick Chimney Repair

Keeping your fireplace and chimney in tip-top shape is crucial for home maintenance and occupant safety, but what happens when bricks begin to crumble and crack? This causes a spalling problem when the masonry deteriorates from the infiltration of moisture. If unrepaired, it will lead to a structural decline of the entire infrastructure and require a full chimney repair.

Contributing Factors To Spalling

Moisture is the leading factor for spalling, but other issues like inclement weather or structural problems increase its likelihood. Here are a few contributing factors you want to look out for.

  • Cold climates cause freezing and thawing patterns on bricks to occur.
  • Using recovered chimney materials that are porous increases risks.
  • Entryways that allow in moisture to the exterior of the home is problematic.
  • Using pressurized machinery eats away at the layer-protectant sealant.

Dangers Of Spalling Brick

  1. Chimney Fire

When your chimney has porous masonry, it increases your risk of house fires because of the build-up of creosote in the flue. Without proper maintenance, it could become combustible and cause a chimney fire. As the chimney is not functioning properly and removing smoke, it’ll malfunction and cause smoke. As the bricks are deteriorating, sparks reach the exterior wood of the fireplace.

  1. Brick Deterioration

If you do not take care of the fireplace masonry, it will only get worse as the spalling advances. You’ll soon start to see chipping and cracks from moisture, which will allow the dampness to seep in faster. It’s a tell-tale sign of spalling.

  1. Chimney Collapse

With longterm spalling, your chimney will collapse because of the structural integrity becomes compromised. Once the fireplace collapses, you will have to replace it in its entirety. Spalling is much easier to fix than a full chimney.

Treating A Chimney With Spalling

You first need to solve the moisture issue before working on the spalling. If you fix the spalling issue first, the moisture will likely damage the new masonry work. You’ll want to first have your chimney cleaned and inspected by North Shore Roofing so that we can check the brickwork and the flue to identify how water is seeping into the structure and how many bricks are damaged. It also allows our chimney experts to identify any additional issues that require a chimney repair.

  • Early Signs Of Spalling: If a chimney repairman catches the spalling in its earliest stage, there will only be minor cracks in the bricks. You’ll only need to have a quality sealant application as well as a new chimney cap installed.
  • Late-Stage Spalling: If the masonry is deteriorating, it is in a late spalling stage and will require extensive chimney repair, including masonry, mortar, and brick replacement. The chimney must also be replaced. Once the structural integrity is renewed, a sealant must be applied to waterproof it.

How To Prevent Spalling

Annual maintenance and prevention are the easiest ways to avoid spalling by applying a waterproofing solution and replacing the chimney crown to keep out moisture. It further reduces the likelihood of leaks and masonry damage in the future. It helps to schedule routine chimney inspections to ensure nothing is amiss and that moisture seepage has not caused spalling to start.

At North Shore Roofing, we will gladly perform an inspection for chimney spalling. Give us a call at (978) 977- 3816 or simply visit us at