This home needed our Columbia, MD chimney repair services cyears before we came out to look at it. Fortunately, the fireplace itself did not need any wood burning fireplace repair. However, the chimney was in bad shape. The bricks were spalling. Spalling, is when the faces of the bricks pop out. This is caused by water soaking into the brick and then freezing. As the water freezes, it expands and pops the brick faces out. In this case, someone tried to fix the chimney by parging over the spalled bricks. That is not the correct way to fix it this problem. As you can see the parging is falling off and cracking and it also just looks horrible! This is another example where we were called in to fix a problem that was partially caused by the poor workmanship of other companies. It reminds me of a previous job that involved a chimney leak. Fortunately, we were able to rebuild this chimney and even match the bricks.
Before the Chimney Rebuild
This problem more than likely started from the crown failing and then worked its way down from there. Also, notice that the top course of brick steps back in. A lot of chimneys are built like this as a decorative way to terminate the chimney but I’m not a fan of this because it leaves a place for water to sit and if water is sitting anywhere on the chimney you can believe that it will eventually damage it. I prefer to flare the brick out then laying the crown over it so the water runs off the top down with nowhere to sit. This project reminds me of another chimney repair job that we did in Ellicott City, MD.
We took the chimney down to the roofline, which is where the last of the damaged bricks were. We also relined the fireplace flue with a stainless steel liner because the flue liners were cracked further down below the area we rebuilt.
After the Chimney Rebuild
This is the completed chimney rebuild. We installed new counter flashing, flared out the top 3 courses, rebuilt the concrete crown, waterproofed the chimney, relined the fireplace and installed and Lock Top II damper.
Completed chimney rebuild
We were able to find a pretty good match on the bricks. Which allows the rebuilt portion not to stand out like a sore thumb.
Street view of the completed chimney rebuild!