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Chimney Corbeling and What You Need to Know

Stair-step design in chimney brick masonry is known as corbeling. On the practical side of chimney corbeling, it is typically located where the smoke chamber is inside the chimney. Corbeling is sometimes an architectural feature for purely aesthetic purposes, and this type has made a comeback. Many new homeowners ask for corbeling to be built into their chimney stack. The architectural version doesn’t always create problems, but the other type does! 

Professional Chimney Sweeps in Powhatan VA

It is important to call on trusted chimney sweeps when you have questions or need to schedule chimney services. In Richmond, VA and the surrounding areas, Chimney Saver Solutions is the company to call. Read on to learn more about corbels and whether masonry work is needed on your chimney structure.  

Chimney Corbeling aka “Shoulders” and “Hips”

Chimney corbeling known as “hips” is an essential masonry structure built in the smoke chamber. In addition, if there is an outside wall with multiple flues, corbeling known as a “shoulder” is necessary. The stair-step brick effect built over the angle of the smoke chamber or anywhere else should never be left as is. 

Unless the corbeling is capped off, water can too easily penetrate the bricks. Water tends to pool on level bricks, where water intrusion is disastrous. In winter, freezing and thawing conditions cause the water to expand and contract. This movement damages bricks beyond repair, and they must be replaced or they will eventually go flat. From there, unless there is masonry repair, the chimney will begin to lean. Any leaning chimney could be in danger of collapse.

How to Cap off Corbeling 

Contact a qualified chimney sweep if bricks are vulnerable because of water pooling on your chimney corbels. They will install a cap over the corbeling on your chimney. Concrete stones can be used for that purpose. Ask the chimney technicians what strategy they will be using to protect the chimney corbeling.

If the corbeling is built so that the bricks have an incline to help prevent water penetration, it’s also important to have them checked annually. Chimney inspections are considered essential by all fire safety experts, anyway. So, mention to the chimney technician that you want to know how your corbeling is doing. The mortar may need to be replaced or, depending on what protection you have, the concrete cap may be damaged. 

After it has been established that your chimney system is free of water intrusion, schedule waterproofing of your chimney. Leave this job to chimney sweeps, as well. Certain materials must be used for chimney waterproofing. Our technicians at Chimney Saver Solutions have the skill required to apply the right material so that it provides another line of protection against moisture intrusion. 

Chimney Inspections in Carytown & Fan VAContact the Pros for Help with Vulnerable Chimney Corbeling

Contact the pros at Chimney Saver Solutions for help with chimney corbeling. We provide all chimney maintenance services, from chimney cleaning and chimney inspections to fireplace installation, tuckpointing, full and partial chimney rebuilds, and capping off of chimney corbeling. 

Homeowners throughout our area rely on us for dependable chimney services. Call us today at 804-440-5000 or fill out our online form. We are always happy to answer any questions.

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