Brick chimneys are strong and durable, but if your chimney is around long enough, it will eventually need a type of repair called "tuckpointing." Tuckpointing is a method of restoring or replacing the mortar between the bricks in the chimney. So, how do you know when your chimney needs tuckpointing, and what does this repair involve? Take a look.
Signs Your Chimney Needs Tuckpointing
To tell whether your chimney is ready for this repair, take a close look at the joints between the bricks. What condition would you say the mortar is in? If the mortar looks mostly intact with a few areas that are cracked or crumbly, it is still okay for now. But if you see lots of crumbling areas and joints that are completely missing mortar, your chimney needs to be tuckpointed. The mortar is there to keep your bricks in place and essentially keep the chimney sturdy. Without strong mortar, the bricks may start falling out or leaning towards one side.
How To Have Your Chimney Tuckpointed
To have your chimney tuckpointed, contact a chimney repair company. If you tell them that your chimney needs tuckpointing or mortar repair, they will know exactly what you mean.
A chimney repair professional will use a chisel or a grinder to remove the damaged mortar. They will go an inch or two back, but they'll leave the deeper mortar in place as long as it does not crumble away on its own.
Once the joints are cleaned of old mortar, your chimney repair professional will put new mortar into those empty joints. They'll let it dry for a day or two, and then they'll apply a second coat. Once that second coat is dry, they will apply a special sealer. This will help prevent water from penetrating the mortar and further weakening it.
What happens if you don't tuckpoint your chimney?
If your chimney needs tuckpointing and you don't have this service done, bricks will eventually start to fall out. At this stage, the chimney will be hard to repair since many of the bricks will have shifted. Replacing the whole chimney may be your only option. It is far less expensive to simply have the chimney tuckpointed when the mortar starts to break down.
If you have a chimney, it is good to be aware of tuckpointing. Your chimney may not need this repair right now, but it eventually will.
For more info about chimney restoration, contact a local company.