From: Roger Turk <73527.1356(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 23:10:46 -0400
When I investigate fire damaged brick, there are two things that I look for:
The first is if the mortar was damaged by the fire, i.e., did the mortar sand
get hot enough to expand and destroy the integrity of the mortar. I imagine
that there are more sophisticated methods of checking this, but for a first
check, I rake the mortar joints with a screwdriver. Good solid mortar will
just show a mark, but fire damaged (and old lime mortar) will just rake out.
The second thing I check is to see if the brick had been damaged.
Considering how brick is made (and fired) it should take quite a bit of heat
to damage it. Really fire damaged brick will have the surface spalled off,
so I tap the apparent undamaged brick with a hammer. Undamaged brick will
emit a ringing sound; brick which has delaminated and is ready to spall will
emit a dull sound. You can't avoid noticing the difference.
As far as cleaning soot, if I determined that the brick masonry was sound, I
would leave the cleaning methods up to a damage restoration company. They do
cleanup all the time and I would hate to specify what they should do.
Hope this helps.
A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Michael Krakower wrote:
. > An engineering friend of mine is evaluating several surviving brick
. > chimneys for an insurance company after the surrounding wood frame
. > residences have been gutted by fire. Is there a written methodology by
. > Factory Mutual or other similar sources that he might use for the
. > evaluation? Topics of interest include structural integrity, cleaning of
. > soot, field testing etc.
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