Few things in life are as solid and durable as a chimney. Constructed from materials like brick and mortar, they stand tall through the years and serve fireplace owners with pride.
Until they don’t.
Chimneys eventually need care and attention, especially after an earthquake occurs. Sometimes you may be faced with a full chimney rebuild.
When Does a Chimney Need Rebuilding?
You might think a rebuild would involve a complete tear-down of the existing chimney followed by its entire replacement – brick by brick. That is not always the case. There are different types of rebuilding, and they each depend on the chimney’s condition.
This type is suggested when only a few individual bricks appear to be crumbling (spalling), cracked, or completely missing.
A partial rebuild may involve:
- Complete replacement if the chimney is small
- Replacement of only the top few feet or courses (rows or layers) of brick in larger chimneys
These repairs are entirely above the roofline and do not involve scaffolding.
When a trusty chimney falls prey to brick spalling, vertical cracks, mortar joint damage, and other significant deterioration, this type of rebuild is usually needed.
The entire chimney stack must be taken down and built back up starting from the roofline.
Total Chimney Replacement
A roofline-up rebuild might seem to be the most extensive – after all, the entire visible chimney is replaced.
Yet chimneys connect the firebox to the outside world, and they do not start at the roofline. Severe structural damage can occur in cases of:
- Extreme spalling
- A leaning chimney
- Extensive mortar deterioration
In these circumstances, there can be structural damage below and above the roofline, and a total replacement is required. Thankfully, the firebox, hearth, and smoke chamber tend to remain intact.
Regardless of rebuild type, the chimney cap and crown are usually replaced.
If you notice any cracks, crumbling, or other possible chimney problems, please contact us for expert inspection and advice. As a first-class chimney service in California, we offer options for removing and rebuilding damaged areas, as well as complete removal and replacement of any chimney type – masonry or prefabricated. Chimney repairs, restoration, and rebuilding have never been easier.