George Maxwell of Independence, Missouri was shocked when a chimney contractor told him that vines caused over $3,000 in damages to his brick chimney. Maxwell had his chimney inspected on January 23, 2012 by a professional chimney sweep, who found hidden damages to the interior of the chimney flue caused by rain water, and a surprising amount of damage to the exterior masonry by vines.
Chimney contractor Buddy Wickizer of HearthMasters, Inc. in Independence, Missouri said “I've seen mortar joint damage by vines, but it is unusual to seer seen damage as extensive as this. These vines were allowed to grow for years, attacking mortar joints as they grew.” Wickizer advised homeowner George Maxwell to remove the vines and dig up the roots so the plants would not grow back, and advises homeowners to remove vines from any masonry chimney in order to avoid unnecessary costly repairs.
The vines are also a fire hazard since they are so close to the chimney covers at the top of the chimney.
Maxwell is having a chimney contractor grind out and point (also called tuckpointing) all of the mortar joints and clean off the bricks by acid washing, and build a new cement crown. The work will require scaffolding to access the chimney.