Chimneys and Fireplaces — Repair or Rebuild?

The stability of your chimneys and fireplaces is compromised when mortar joints are left to decay. The following are signs that your chimney or fireplace needs joint repair:

Voids are found in the mortar joints

  • Leaks are discovered inside the chimney or attic
  • Crumbling mortar is in the fireplace
  • Your chimney appears to be leaning
  • The mortar is easily displaced when scraped with a pen

Regular tuck-pointing repair can maintain mortar integrity of your chimneys and fireplaces, extending the lifetime of your masonry walls, indefinitely. However, if left too long without maintenance, your masonry structures may become beyond repair, necessitating a complete chimney or fireplace teardown and rebuild.

 What is Tuck-pointing?

Mortar is meant to be softer and more porous than its accompanying brick or stone building material. Mortar is meant to do the expanding and contracting as well as the water absorption so that the building material won’t have to. By design, mortar takes the brunt of the deterioration. Tuck-pointing is the process of renewing mortar joints back to their original strength. Masons do this by first grinding out the old mortar and refilling with fresh mortar.

Is it too late?

You will need to tuck-point your external masonry every 25-30 years. You may need to rebuild the structure if too much mortar has been allowed to crumble leaving large voids where the bricks are moving out of place or touching one another,

Chimcare LLC chimney masons perform routine tuck-pointing as well as full chimney and fireplace rebuilds. If you are concerned about the condition of your masonry, call us today. With a tuck-pointing process, it may not be too late to renew your mortar condition.

Jesse Peralta

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