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Bricks are very porous and can hold water inside them, much like a sponge does. The intrusion of water into bricks and mortar can cause damage like:
- Efflorescence — the deposit of salts on the surface of the brick
- Spalding — flaking of the brick.
- Deterioration of the mortar between the bricks.
Unfortunately, even brickwork that is well protected from water will eventually break down from old age.
Common masonry repairs
Tuck Pointing Repair
Is the mortar between your bricks sagging out? This wearing of your chimney wall can greatly compromise its integrity. Tuck-Pointing is a process where we scrape or cut out the deteriorating mortar and then refill the joints with fresh mortar. You can also help increase the lifetime of your joints by having the brickwork sealed every ten years to decrease water absorption (see waterproofing).
Do you have cracked or missing mortar on your chimney crown? Your chimney crown is like the roof of your house; it is there to protect your brickwork from water. If caught in time, a simple resurfacing can repair small cracks. If there is more extensive damage, you may need to rebuild the crown completely.
Is water staining your walls or ceiling when it rains? The joint between the roof and the chimney is highly vulnerable to water seepage, especially in Oregon climates where there are a lot of freeze thaw cycles. Chimney flashing is used to create a water boundary that is resistant to the contracting and expanding of materials. If your flashing is compromised, you will have an increased risk of developing wood rot and mold.