Go Back   InterNACHI Inspection Forum > >

Notices

Exterior Inspections Contains discussions about the exterior portion of a home inspection. This includes roofs, gutters, downspouts, decks, patios, windows, etc.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 9/5/15, 2:55 PM
Kenton Shepard, CMI's Avatar
Kenton Shepard, CMI Kenton Shepard, CMI is online now
Certified Master Inspector
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 6,618
Send a message via ICQ to kshepard
Default Spalling brick

In Colorado. This appears to be the result of moisture absorbed by brick and then freezing. Some efflorescence is visible. Is this the result of poor firing practice?
I believe this home was built in the 1950s so this has taken something over 60 years to start happening. The brick face is obviously delaminating at a pretty uniform thickness.
Anyone want to shed some light on this condition?
Attached Thumbnails
Spalling brick-198_spallingbrick_1-jpg   Spalling brick-198_spallingbrick_2-jpg  



Kenton Shepard, CMI Inspector/Instructor


Designer/Builder: House of Horrors 1&2
Author: InterNACHI Narrative Library

Reply With Quote
Need a home inspection in Michigan? Check out InterNACHI's listing of Michigan certified home inspectors. Or, find a home inspector anywhere in the world with our inspection search engine.
  #2  
Old 9/5/15, 3:25 PM
Bob Elliott, 450.0002662's Avatar
Bob Elliott, 450.0002662 Bob Elliott, 450.0002662 is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI) ®
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 37,704
Default Re: Spalling brick

B]ROOF / Chimney[/B]

Lack of a proper chimney cap has caused excessive spalling caused by water freezing and popping off the brick facing and efflorescence observed on brick often caused by evaporation of water in saturated masonry material leaving salts behind.

Lack of proper chimney cap has contributed to this condition.

Recommend::: Mason tuckpoint and install proper chimney cap
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 9/5/15, 3:32 PM
Rick Elliott's Avatar
Rick Elliott Rick Elliott is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Marin County, California
Posts: 1,469
Default Spalling brick

I'm going to guess it's a manufacturers defect.
We used to call them clinker bricks.. Craftsman era utilized them as a decorative feature.
Likely moisture has frozen in the bricks and expanded as you say but it's interesting that it's only on the courses at the roofline and cap..?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 9/5/15, 3:37 PM
Roy Lewis, CMI's Avatar
Roy Lewis, CMI Roy Lewis, CMI is online now
Certified Master Inspector ®
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: North Florida
Posts: 13,289
Default Re: Spalling brick

"Brick spall when they are too soft and porous. This permits the brick to absorb and retain too much water which then can freeze and expand breaking away the brick surface.

While this is merely a general rule and not an absolute, there are two typical times when brick spalling occurs. The first is when brick have been reclaimed and re-layed as "used brick". The second is a manufactured brick that was simply substandard.

The interesting thing about the first reason is that early American masons actually did understand brick density and vulnerability issues. They culled and set aside the soft brick for the interior withes of solid masonry construction. Unfortunately, masons in the 60's and 70's weren't as thoughtful and installed them as exterior brick. It didn't take long for them to fail.

Occasionally an inspector may notice spalled brick on the side of an old row house and assume this is an exception. But, typically, upon closer examination it will become obvious that even these exposed soft brick were not originally exterior brick. Another building which has been torn down once adjoined this building. The silhouette of the previous building will be apparent (outlined) through a change in brick appearance and quality of workmanship.

The second common circumstance under which an inspector will see spalled brick is in houses built in the 60's and 70's. Some brick manufacturers during that period of time were using inferior materials. When that fact became apparent, the ASTM devised absorption standards that some pits and manufacturers could not meet. They were forced to close down.

For these reasons, an inspector should not expect to see much brick spalling in homes built in the recent past or future.

As a side note, on occasion we may see brick that have come apart near the top of a chimney, but this is not typically spalling. When the crown of top joints fail on a chimney and permit water to enter and freeze in the cores bricks can literally spit apart. "




InterNACHI Lifetime Member.
www.1stproinspection.com
roy@1stproinspection.com
Serving Gainesville Florida and surrounding areas.
Florida Certified Contractor #CRC1328001
Florida Certified Home Inspector #HI7019
Deus solus me iudicare potest
#1st Pro Inspection
Well! They may have degrees, but that is not an indicator of common sense or right thinking...M. Larson circa 9-27-2018.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 9/5/15, 4:28 PM
Juan C. Jimenez Juan C. Jimenez is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: central va
Posts: 7,690
Default Re: Spalling brick

The chimney looks unlined. Was that the case?



Juan Jimenez
A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC
God. Family. Home.
804-269-4321
Richmond Home Inspector
Richmond Chimney Sweep
Richmond Radon Testing


Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 9/5/15, 4:31 PM
Kenneth A. Ramm Kenneth A. Ramm is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New Glarus, WI
Posts: 3,783
Default Re: Spalling brick

Look at your photo again, the mortar is in good shape meaning the mortar is harder then the brick therefore the brick takes the brunt of the moisture and fails. Hence the reason for tuck pointing and parging in older buildings, the mortar has more lime in it and to gives the moisture a place to go and saves the brick. The reason for parging was to help give the moisture a place to go (wick) once it has delaminated you tuck point and parge again and the brick should be in good shape.



Kenneth (Kenny) Ramm
608-438-3986
RammHomeInspections@gmail.com
Wisconsin License 2516-106
InterNACHI #12101905
Level II Infraspection Institute Certified Infrared Thermographer #10786

"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects." Albert Einstein
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 9/5/15, 4:47 PM
Andrew A. Griffin, CMI's Avatar
Andrew A. Griffin, CMI Andrew A. Griffin, CMI is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA.
Posts: 412
Default Re: Spalling brick

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimenez View Post
The chimney looks unlined. Was that the case?
It does look unlined to me too. Also, what was vented into the chimney? Is the installed flue too big for whatever is venting into it and the exhaust is condensing inside of the chimney.




Andy Griffin
Griffin Inspection Services LLC
agriffin@griffinspection.com
412-407-2501
www.griffinspection.com
www.pittsburgh-home-inspections.com
Pittsburgh home inspections
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 9/5/15, 4:51 PM
Bob Elliott, 450.0002662's Avatar
Bob Elliott, 450.0002662 Bob Elliott, 450.0002662 is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI) ®
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 37,704
Default Re: Spalling brick

Liner or not look close at that cap guys. It has been sloped short and is cracked.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 9/5/15, 6:52 PM
Derek Grace, 16000090161's Avatar
Derek Grace, 16000090161 Derek Grace, 16000090161 is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cazenovia, New York
Posts: 1,666
Default Spalling brick

Looks like an antenna was previously strapped to the chimney also which is not advised.



GoldenEye Home Inspections LLC

http://goldeneyehomeinspections.com/
gracey29@hotmail.com


Select your club and trust your swing
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 9/5/15, 7:46 PM
Juan C. Jimenez Juan C. Jimenez is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: central va
Posts: 7,690
Default Re: Spalling brick

Quote:
Originally Posted by belliott View Post
Liner or not look close at that cap guys. It has been sloped short and is cracked.
The crown didn't cause the spalling. That little crack didnt cause all of the spalling. It probably hasnt caused any problems at all yet. If I had to take a WAG, I would say a gas appliance in the chimney is causing too much condensation inside.



Juan Jimenez
A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC
God. Family. Home.
804-269-4321
Richmond Home Inspector
Richmond Chimney Sweep
Richmond Radon Testing


Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 9/5/15, 8:23 PM
Kenneth A. Ramm Kenneth A. Ramm is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New Glarus, WI
Posts: 3,783
Default Re: Spalling brick

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimenez View Post
The crown didn't cause the spalling. That little crack didnt cause all of the spalling. It probably hasnt caused any problems at all yet. If I had to take a WAG, I would say a gas appliance in the chimney is causing too much condensation inside.
Hence my post.

You do not want the mortar to be stronger than the brick.



Kenneth (Kenny) Ramm
608-438-3986
RammHomeInspections@gmail.com
Wisconsin License 2516-106
InterNACHI #12101905
Level II Infraspection Institute Certified Infrared Thermographer #10786

"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects." Albert Einstein
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 9/5/15, 9:01 PM
Marcel R. Cyr, CMI's Avatar
Marcel R. Cyr, CMI Marcel R. Cyr, CMI is offline
Certified Master Inspector ®
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Winslow, ME
Posts: 30,905
Default Re: Spalling brick

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramm View Post
Look at your photo again, the mortar is in good shape meaning the mortar is harder then the brick therefore the brick takes the brunt of the moisture and fails. Hence the reason for tuck pointing and parging in older buildings, the mortar has more lime in it and to gives the moisture a place to go and saves the brick. The reason for parging was to help give the moisture a place to go (wick) once it has delaminated you tuck point and parge again and the brick should be in good shape.
http://stlbrickrepair.com/2013/05/20/what-causes-brick-faces-to-pop-off-or-deteriorate-why-is-this-happening/



CMI 2004-2017 Retired

Awards Committee Member
U.S. Member of the Year Winner 2009
45 Years Residential/Commercial Builder
Submit your AWARDS NOMINATIONS here
The InterNACHI Awards Committee is the final authority of issuance of any award the committee offers and any rules updates.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 9/5/15, 9:06 PM
Kenton Shepard, CMI's Avatar
Kenton Shepard, CMI Kenton Shepard, CMI is online now
Certified Master Inspector
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 6,618
Send a message via ICQ to kshepard
Default Re: Spalling brick

This photo is about 5 years old and I was there to inspect a valley only. I just took this photo in passing. Now I'm going through all my old photos for the Flash Card project and trying to give good explanations for the defects shown.

The damage location is kinda random, although it seems to be a little more concentrated at the corners. I'm thinking that the bricks delivered to the job included both high and low quality, similar in appearance and the mason used them randomly.

The damage appearance is similar, with the face delaminating in similar thickness. If the source of moisture was from above (leaking crown) or below (moisture laden exhaust gases meeting cold brick of unlined chimney), damage should be concentrated low or high, but there's also damage in the middle.

I've added 3 more photos, including one of a different chimney on the same roof, with what looks like identical brick with no damage, indicating that the problem has to do with the construction of the damaged chimney.
Attached Thumbnails
Spalling brick-3-jpg   Spalling brick-4-jpg   Spalling brick-5-jpg  



Kenton Shepard, CMI Inspector/Instructor


Designer/Builder: House of Horrors 1&2
Author: InterNACHI Narrative Library

Reply With Quote
Need a home inspection in Michigan? Check out InterNACHI's listing of Michigan certified home inspectors. Or, find a home inspector anywhere in the world with our inspection search engine.
  #14  
Old 9/5/15, 9:19 PM
Kenton Shepard, CMI's Avatar
Kenton Shepard, CMI Kenton Shepard, CMI is online now
Certified Master Inspector
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 6,618
Send a message via ICQ to kshepard
Default Re: Spalling brick

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramm View Post
Look at your photo again, the mortar is in good shape meaning the mortar is harder then the brick therefore the brick takes the brunt of the moisture and fails. Hence the reason for tuck pointing and parging in older buildings, the mortar has more lime in it and to gives the moisture a place to go and saves the brick. The reason for parging was to help give the moisture a place to go (wick) once it has delaminated you tuck point and parge again and the brick should be in good shape.
But why is it just now failing after all this time and in such a random pattern)? The other chimney with brick that looked very similar had no damage.

My understanding of differences in hardness- well, actually tensile strength- had more to do with crack patterns than rates of deterioration of brick. This is the first I've heard of brick face delamination caused by... by what? Water running off the mortar?

(hadn't yet posted the other photos when you made this post)



Kenton Shepard, CMI Inspector/Instructor


Designer/Builder: House of Horrors 1&2
Author: InterNACHI Narrative Library

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 9/5/15, 9:33 PM
Marcel R. Cyr, CMI's Avatar
Marcel R. Cyr, CMI Marcel R. Cyr, CMI is offline
Certified Master Inspector ®
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Winslow, ME
Posts: 30,905
Default Re: Spalling brick



Spalling is caused when the masonry absorbs too much moisture from rain and is subjected to freeze/thaw cycles.
Damages can be exacerbated by condensation of flue gasses in improperly sized flue liners and gaps or cracks in mortar joints on the interior of the chimney, and by moisture entering the interior of the chimney chase from the top at the cement crown area where cracks or gaps allow water to enter.

If the cement crown is not built with a poured crown with 2” overhand and drip edge per code, damages to the top of the chimney structure will occur more quickly. However, builders seldom build poured crowns due to the added time and expense involved.

http://www.examiner.com/article/spalling-chimneys-a-sign-of-severe-moisture-damage
















CMI 2004-2017 Retired

Awards Committee Member
U.S. Member of the Year Winner 2009
45 Years Residential/Commercial Builder
Submit your AWARDS NOMINATIONS here
The InterNACHI Awards Committee is the final authority of issuance of any award the committee offers and any rules updates.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:12 AM.
no new posts