Important considerations when considering Industrial Chimney Maintenance:
Paint: Some smokestack companies will sell work painting brick smokestacks and also paint concrete smokestacks to help lower maintenance costs. They may also paint them for advertisement
reasons. However, when an industrial brick smokestack is painted water can get trapped behind the bricks and cause damage if the paint coating is not carefully inspected every few years. Brick
smokestacks should never be painted; brick companies don’t approve painting bricks. Concrete can be painted with less concerns, however once a coating is applied to a smokestack it needs to be
maintained otherwise it can cause more harm than good.
Pointing: Regular pointing of the mortar joints and replacing cracked bricks prevent water from soaking into the chimney column should be an owners first concern. But, finding a repair
company you can trust is just as important; Repairs are subject to a proper inspection and the goal of the sales team, and crew manager, and work force. Pointing is defined as façade repairs in the
masonry industry, typically to a depth of the width of the joint. However, deep pointing is often required with industrial chimney repairs. Chimneys can have repair joints that need to be filled and
packed all the way to the end of the bricks on both sides of the chimney column.
Banding: Steel banding is often done on factory chimneys to prevent or stop cracks from progressing by the industrial chimney contractor. Banding is also used to arrest a column from
bellowing out in smokestack walls. This happens more often when an industrial chimney is over a certain age or where there is a history of acid attack. In some cases, for these bands to function
properly, they need to be made of heavy steal and bent on the ends around to the inside rather than over the band clamp around on the outside. This depends on if the band should be allowed to have
some give to it. Welding bands together on the chimney does not work as well as using Dule Threaded Rod Band Clamps (see photos) because after so many years rust will break the band apart under where
they are lapped together. This is also because it can be difficult to properly weld under the band. A good welder can weld the steel ends together end to end but this more difficult to do vertically,
and is typically not done in the field.
Lightning: Damage from lightning strikes is more prevalent on radial brick chimneys. This is caused because of a lack of joint or crack maintenance or damaged lightning cable downleads.
When lightning strikes areas soaked with water, they become super-heated and there is an explosion. These explosions can be amazing, a similar effect of this is witnessed in steel mills when water is
present and molten metal is being poured out. When lighting strikes a wet chimney column, sometimes long cracks are appear down the side of the chimney column. Typically, a concrete chimney does not
have so many problems and sometimes the steel in the concrete may be tied into the ground.
Inspection recommendations: Inspections are what drive the maintenance plan. Binocular inspections should occur a few times e a year. Full height interior and exterior hands on inspection
should be done every three to five years depending on the chimney. Smokestack inspection and maintenance should be implemented on a regulated basis to avoid rapid deterioration. Properly maintaining
your power plant, industrial or refinery smokestacks keeps your employees healthy and safe, as well as ensuring your facilities will be trouble free.