Two Signs It's Time To Repair Your Brick Fireplace

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Two Signs It's Time To Repair Your Brick Fireplace

27 June 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

A brick fireplace is a beautiful addition to any home. The look of brick can be complementary to a modern decor or even a more classic look. This versatility is one of the factors that makes brick so popular. However, this is only the case when the brick is in good condition. When brick starts to show signs of aging or deterioration, it can actually make the entire space look bad. Make sure you know when it's time to restore your brick fireplace.   

White Coating On Bricks

When looking at your brick fireplace, do you notice a white coating over the surface of the bricks? If so, this is an indication that it's time for some work. This white coating is formally known as efflorescence. This problem arises when there are issues with moisture. As the high levels of moisture come in contact with the brick, over time, this causes the salt naturally found in the mortar to come to the surface.

Once it dries, it leaves behind a white residue. In terms of removal, there is no way to wash away the residue. You need to have the brick painted or refinished to eliminate the stains. However, more importantly, until you have the issue resolved, even after refinishing, the problem will only return. This issue most often arises in homes with uncontrolled humidity levels.

Mortar Joint Deterioration

One important concern not to overlook is mortar joint deterioration. In short, this issue is best described as pieces of crumbling mortar and in extreme cases, there might actually be chunks of mortar missing. Not only does this issue look bad, this is an indication that the structural integrity of the brick fireplace is in jeopardy. The mortar joints are responsible for helping keep the bricks in place.

When it starts to wear away, the bricks start to adjust and can eventually fall out of place. Typically, this issue will originate simply due to the age of the fireplace. If you have an old home with an original brick fireplace, it's not uncommon to experience this issue. Generally, repairing this issue involves a process known as tuck-pointing, which can restore the damaged mortar and fill in any gaps.

If your fireplace is showing signs of wear, it's time to contact a masonry professional. A professional can assess the condition of your fireplace to highlight any necessary repairs, as well as provide helpful tips on preserving your brick fireplace in the future.

For masonry restoration, click on this link or do an online search.