Now that it is Spring (2011), we have a number of clients going outside finding damage to their chimney. In North Texas, this is typically wood rot with the occasional brick chimney issue. In the following, I’ll quickly review some of what we’ve found and how to avoid (of course, we can help with the repairs).
We find this type of damage in three areas —
- Trim around the top of the chimney.
- Side / corner trim located on the sides of the chimney
- Base of the chimney rot.
The first 2 areas are best addressed when the chimney was build — in other words — (a) use great paint (Sherwin Williams Duration or SuperPaint) and (b) use great material (Hardie-Trim ro Smart Siding — both come with 30-50 year warranties). Often
with the 3rd area we find that the base of the chimney either has plants, grass, or poor drainage, issues that prevent the area from drying out — thus moisture builds up and rot occurs. Like the first 2 areas, great material and paint can sometimes help, but clearing the area around the base of the chimney is often the best bet.
A couple of issues we’ve run into lately have been the caps and the brick/mortar. We’ve often found that the (a) cap mortar is damaged along with (b) the cap cover sometimes missing or not installed when the home was built. In the chimney caps shown, the cap cover is not even present — when it rains hard, guess where the water goes. We’ve addressed by
installing new caps. When we find damaged brick or mortar, it is typically due to moisture issues — not enough sun hits the chimney area to dry the brick and mortar. Sometimes the only repair is to re-brick (like shown).