Signs That Your Chimney May Need To Be Replaced Instead Of Repaired
Chimneys are masonry constructions that are made to last for decades. Not only are they heavy-duty formations, but they are quite expensive to build and maintain. They are also difficult to repair and oftentimes a replacement is required instead. Repairs can be completed by a masonry professional, but there are some situations where you do not want to invest in a repair. Keep reading to learn a bit about these situations.
Extensive Brick Cracks
Chimneys are made to be quite solid and secure, and this is one reason why they are typically unyielding to stress. While this is true, the chimney will be able to handle small shifts in its structure due to ground movements. This is similar to the type of pressure that is retained by your concrete foundation.
Over time, the ground may shift underneath the chimney a great deal and the bricks will crack in response. Keep in mind that cracks are also a sign of aging, and if a few bricks have cracked, then you can have a chimney professional replace them. However, when the cracks are widespread or reach through all of the bricks in a single level, then this is a structural issue that needs to be addressed.
Sometimes the base or footing of the chimney can be replaced, but this may not be wise if damage has already set in. The good news though is that your masonry professional may be able to recycle some of the old bricks and reuse them to create the new chimney. This is actually ideal, because old bricks are actually stronger than new ones due to the way they were fired in the 1700s and 1800s.
Extensively Leaning Chimney
Chimneys will sometimes lean towards or away from the home. Like cracking bricks, this is often the result of a chimney base that is sinking or failing. And, you may be able to identify the leaning as soon as it starts. If so, you can have a repair completed where the footing is replaced or braced. Lifts can also be used to straighten the chimney.
However, sometimes a chimney will be leaning so much that it is dangerous to lift and maneuver the chimney. Basically, it can topple onto your home or on one of the masonry workers. So, if your chimney is identified as a risk in terms of it tipping or falling over, you may want to have the entire chimney knocked down safely and replaced. Contact a service, like Sposato Masonry, for more help.