Why Chimney Repair Is Necessary

A properly functioning chimney provides warmth and safety to a home. Over time, it may require repairs to prevent deterioration and costly damage.

A visual inspection is one way to detect a need for chimney repair. Look for gaps and cracks, as well as white chalky deposits (efflorescence) on the outside of your chimney. Contact Baltimore Chimney Repair now!

Mortar joints are what connect your chimney bricks, and they are vulnerable to wear and tear from harsh weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. Over time, if these mortar joints deteriorate, they will allow moisture to penetrate your chimney. This will speed up all forms of chimney damage, including rust, cracking, and spalling.

A mortar repair service can help protect your chimney from moisture penetration and resulting problems. The service is called tuckpointing, and it involves replacing old, damaged or missing pieces of mortar between your chimney bricks. During this process, a skilled mason will add a new layer of strong compound to the surface of your chimney, making sure it is even and smooth. This is done using a brush and joint filler that has been mixed with a masonry fortifier or colorant to match the surrounding bricks.

Another common chimney repair is to replace loose, cracked or chipped bricks (called spalling). If you see any spalling bricks, they should be replaced promptly to prevent further deterioration and potential safety hazards.

Chimneys can also experience horizontal cracking due to settling and movement of the foundation that supports them. This can cause the masonry to crack and crumble, leaving a visible pattern of stair-step lines across your chimney. Chimney repair pros can stabilize the foundations and reinforce the masonry with steel lintels or rebar to reduce future cracking and deterioration.

If you notice any issues with your chimney, make sure to schedule a professional inspection right away. The chimney mason can determine the extent of your repair needs, if any repairs are necessary, and make recommendations to ensure your chimney is safe and functioning properly. While it may require a trip up onto the roof, an inspection can spot small problems before they become major issues. A chimney that isn’t in good condition can quickly lead to a chimney collapse, which poses a serious health and safety risk for you and your family. With proper maintenance and care, your chimney can serve you well for years to come.

Loose bricks

Brick chimneys add warmth and charm to a home, but they also take a beating from the elements. Chimney deterioration and brick damage are common problems that need professional repair to keep the chimney functioning safely and properly.

Loose or cracked bricks should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration and protect the surrounding masonry. Bricks are designed to support one another, and when just a few bricks begin to fail, the rest of the chimney structure may become unstable or even collapse.

Individual bricks with loose or cracking surfaces can be repaired by removing the old mortar and applying new mortar to the surface. This process is called tuckpointing, and a professional chimney sweep can perform it for you.

When replacing bricks, it’s important to use a mortar mix that complies with masonry standards. You can find mortar mixes that are specially formulated for chimneys at most hardware stores, and you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing the mortar. A good quality chimney sweeping should be familiar with the proper mortar mixing ratios for a brick chimney, and can recommend an appropriate mix based on your chimney’s construction materials and age.

Another way to reduce the likelihood of loose bricks is to schedule regular chimney sweepings and inspections. Professionals can inspect the chimney for signs of deterioration and catch many problems before they cause serious structural damage.

If a leak is present in the chimney, a chimney professional can apply a waterproof sealant to the masonry and chimney crown. This will help to prevent water penetration and leaks that can lead to wood rot, chimney deterioration, chimney failure, and other costly issues.

Water penetration and leaks can also damage the inside of a chimney, resulting in a leaking firebox and a damper that won’t work properly. This can also result in a buildup of toxic mold that can affect your family’s health.


Chimneys add a cozy charm to homes and are an essential feature that can offer protection against fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. But just like any other structure, chimneys are prone to wear and tear that can compromise their safety and efficiency. One of the most common problems is rust, which occurs when metal materials such as brick and mortar come into contact with water. If not addressed promptly, rust can lead to severe structural damage.

Chimney rusting is caused by a combination of factors, including excessive moisture and insufficient maintenance. Moisture commonly enters the chimney through the roof, resulting from rain or condensation. Insufficient maintenance can also result in a buildup of creosote or soot that can lead to moisture buildup and rusting.

Many homeowners notice rust stains around the bottom of the chimney or in the flue. These rusty stains are usually a sign that the chimney cap or other metal components are beginning to corrode. Chimney caps and chase covers should be made of stainless steel or copper to prevent rusting. Galvanized metal can rust, especially in coastal areas with salt air or high humidity. If you have a non-stainless steel chimney cap or chase cover, it is important to have it replaced as soon as possible.

In addition to being unsightly, rust stains can cause significant structural damage to the chimney. The acidity of the rust can eat away at the masonry materials, leading to further deterioration and a greater risk of chimney leaks. If you see rust stains on the chimney exterior, it is best to call in a professional for a safe and effective cleaning solution.

In addition to removing the rust stain, chimney professionals will often use a special cleaner that does not contain muriatic acid, which can eat away at masonry and cause more serious issues with your chimney. This professional-grade chimney cleaning solution is also ideal for removing other stubborn stains such as mildew and algae, and is safe to use on brick, concrete, and mortar surfaces.


Chimney bricks are designed to support each other, so when one or more begin to fail it can impact the entire structure. When a chimney’s bricks spall, it can cause water damage to the surrounding walls and roof and may even lead to a complete collapse.

When you notice a spalling brick chimney, it’s crucial to contact a professional for repairs right away. Trying to fix this issue on your own could result in more expensive damage, and you could also put yourself and others at risk. Working with bricks requires a high level of skill and precision that not all homeowners have. A certified chimney sweep will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.

The first step in repairing spalling bricks is to address the underlying problem that’s allowing moisture into the masonry. A qualified chimney sweep will examine the chimney crown and flue to determine how water is entering the structure and evaluate how extensive the damage is. The inspector will also be able to let you know about any related issues that need attention so they can be addressed as well.

Another common way that water can enter the chimney is through the cracks or gaps in the chimney’s flashing. The flashing is the metal sheeting that connects the roof to the chimney, and it’s important to ensure it’s properly sealed. If not, rainwater or snow melt can seep into the chimney, damaging the flue liner and causing other problems throughout the home.

If you’re concerned about the condition of your chimney, schedule a yearly inspection from a certified chimney sweep. This will help prevent serious problems from developing, and you’ll be able to catch and address any minor ones as they occur. In addition to yearly inspections, be sure to add waterproof sealant and conduct tuckpoint repairs as needed to keep your chimney protected from the elements.

If you’re interested in learning more about how water damage can impact your home and chimney, see our Waterproofing Service page. We’ll be happy to explain our services and answer any questions you might have!