Alexander Masonry, Inc.
Chimney Repair
Chimney problems generally fall into one of two categories;  Chimneys that are cracking and crumbling due to exposure to the weather and leaking chimneys.  Both will be addressed here.

Cracking and crumbling (spalling) chimney:
Brick and stone chimneys are exposed to the elements and are subjected to extreme amounts of moisture. Because brick and stone are porous materials they absorb moisture and retain it, much like a sponge.  Water retention becomes a problem during periods of weather when the temperature falls below freezing and then returns to above freezing.  This is referred to in the masonry industry as the freeze and thaw cycle, and is a common occurance in areas of the midwest such as Indianapolis.  The freeze and thaw cycle causes the water retained in the brick or stone material to expand and contract within the material, and begins to actually crack and break the material apart.  This cracking and breaking is called spalling.  To repair the damage a mason must remove the cracked and spalled brick or stone and replace with new materials.  It is critical that the masonry repair be done by a qualified expert in order that the repair is proper and the new materials match the old.  It is also important that the chimney be waterproofed to protect against future damage.  We at Alexander Masonry, Inc. are very experienced at such repairs and have a long list of satisfied customers.


Chimney leaks:
Chimneys can leak for a variety of reasons.  The first step is to have a qualified roofer inspect the chimney flashing, and if applicable the metal top, to ensure that they are correct.  We have qualified roofers that we can recommend upon request.  Once the flashing and top have been eliminated as the source of water intrusion, the chimney design must be taken into account.  In the past 20 years many builders have constructed chimneys with brick on the outside and wood framing on the interior.  These type chimneys are easily identified by the metal cap on top.  Unfortunately when these chimneys were designed, the porous nature of brick and stone was not taken into account.  As a result water can get behind the brick or stone and run down the interior wood framing.  This can lead to rot of the underlying structure and or leaking water into the interior of the home.  A repair or this type of chimney involves removing the upper courses of brick or stone, installing special interior flashing to redirect any water that penetrates the masonry surface, and re-laying the upper courses with matching brick.  As with any masonry repair, you will want to hire a qualified professional to ensure the quality of the repair, and the appearance of your home.  Read our blog entry:

If you are looking for chimney repair or brickwork on the westside of Indianapolis, Avon, Brownsburg, Danville, Plainfield, or Zionsville areas, a free estimate is available within one week.

We serve the Indianapolis metropolitan area
including Hendricks, Marion, Hamilton, Boone, Montgomery, Putnam, Morgan and Johnson counties.  Of course this area includes Avon, Brownsburg, Clermont, Crawfordsville, Danville, Jamestown, Mooresville, Plainfield, Speedway and Zionsville, IN.

By Ernie Alexander

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