Customer in Wethersfield had popped bricks due to water damage. These particular bricks were very porous, soaking up water and during freeze-thaw cycles , the brick faces chipped out. Water also leaked into the interior of the fireplace during very heavy rains, most likely through the shoulder areas when gutters overflowed.
We tore the chimney down and rebuilt it with all new severe weather brick and installed water impervious blue stones on the chimney shoulder to eliminate water soaking through the brick. Many chimney leaks occur in these areas.