Thoughts on efflorescence on new home/chimney

Holden Posted By Holden, Dec 14, 2018 at 11:02 AM

  1. Holden

    Holden
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    Nov 4, 2017
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    We are new to this fireplace game as we have only been in our brand new home for about 5 months. I noticed some efflorescence on the outside of our fireplace chimney. When I asked the builder, he said that it was totally normal. After doing some reading on the internet, most of what I have read says that it is not normal. The only place that we see the efflorescence is on the chimney, no where else on the house brick (we are all brick), so in reading it says that this is cause due to water damage in most cases. Does anyone have any insight on efflorescence and if it would be common to see this in a house that is less than a year old on ONLY the chimney? Attached are some pictures that I took last night.
     

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  2. KJamesJR

    KJamesJR
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    Jan 8, 2018
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    It's not "water damage". It's typically what happens to brickwork when it gets wet. It's probably only the chimney because the rest of the brickwork has a roof over it. I noticed it was starting from the top and going down getting wider. So rain hitting the top of your chimney is trickling down through the mortar joints and spreading out as it travels down. I would say normal, but I'm not a pro by any means.
     
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  3. MDWOOD

    MDWOOD
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    salt leeching out as you use fireplace (drying).
    happens with Portland cement.
     
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  4. bholler

    bholler
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    It can be normal or it could be water damage. I would check the crown to make sure it is sealed properly.
     
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  5. Woodsplitter67

    Woodsplitter67
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    Jan 19, 2017
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    What your describing is the natural curing process of concrete what you are seeing is the salt releasing from the concrete
     
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  6. bholler

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    I would absolutly agree if it was more widespread. But the fact that it is so localized is why i question if it is normal or not.
     
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  7. Woodsplitter67

    Woodsplitter67
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    From the picture, i see it going all the way doen the center of the brick work starting fron the top and going almost all the way down.. i see 1 large spot where the salt is somewhat collecting.. it will go away over time.. theres actually a wash that can be used to remove it.. sold at most places that sell pavers
     
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  8. bholler

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    Yes but none on the rest of the house. It looks typical of what we see from a failed crown. I agree it absolutely could be normal but it is worth checking the crown.
     
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  9. Woodsplitter67

    Woodsplitter67
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    I agree, check the crown that wouldn't hurt at all and is solid advice.. most likely its the mix. I bet it was still cold out when that brick was laid.
     
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  10. Ludlow

    Ludlow
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    Moisture from multiple layers of brickwork and the vitrified clay liner will not allow it to escape inward. It is curing from inside out and leeching through the outer brick. The rest of the brickwork on the house allows it to escape both inward and outward so there is no appreciable moisture coming through already cured mortar in those areas. It will diminish and you can clean it off if you'd like. Possible cause for this to show more is from too rapid a chimney build or excessive precip during the construction.
     
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  11. ShawnLiNY

    ShawnLiNY
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    I’d have to agree with those that think in this situation and the time it has occurred in . This is not normal at all , this is clearly happening in the central part of the chimney and not occurring on edges, if it was excessive moisture in the mortar from building process it would appear even and would not continue to leach out getting worse the lower you go , this looks like water is getting in and working it way down taking new lime and depositing more calcium each time . Get up there and check everything for the slightest space that water can be getting in . Seal anything obvious clean it off the chimney if it was normal curing it will not return in a few months If it does you continue to have an issue . My opinion
     
  12. Kevin Weis

    Kevin Weis
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    Almost all the above correct. Also some masons put an additive in the mortar mix if they're laying in cold weather so it does not freeze before it sets up. So that's what you see bleed out sometimes in the curing process. Kevin
     
  13. ct01r

    ct01r
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    Nov 10, 2018
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    I've got the same problem with my block chimney. Chimney's 2 years old with a stainless liner, but I just noticed the stain midway up a few weeks ago. Appreciate all the tips; I'll check the crown next week. Curt
     
  14. Ludlow

    Ludlow
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    It is possible that the bond break between the liner and the crown was never sealed. People forget things sometimes.
     
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  15. bholler

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    It is more likely there was no bond break and something cracked
     
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  16. ct01r

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    What would the best thing be to seal it with? Could I use some kind of heat resistant caulk?
     
  17. Ludlow

    Ludlow
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    If you could get a good picture of the top it would be great. If you are comfortable going there.
     
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  18. ct01r

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    If the weather holds, I'll try to remember to look on Monday. It's not too tall, and I have a bucket truck. The issue would be posting a picture. I'm not real bright with computers. Curt
     

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