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Tuckpointing Your Chimney

The “glue” holding the bricks together on your chimney is called mortar, and it plays a vital role in your chimney’s structural integrity. In spite of masonry’s reputation for strength and durability, the mortar between your chimney’s brickwork will eventually turn soft, become crumbly, and turn to sand—thanks to heat, rain, freezing, and thawing. Generally speaking, the older your chimney, the more likely the mortar will be eroding and in need of repair. Not unlike a tooth cavity, if left unchecked, the mortar can disintegrate so badly that the entire chimney becomes unstable, requiring several layers of your chimney’s brick to be torn off and relayed. If the chimney is deemed structurally unsafe, the entire thing may need to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. That’s why it’s far better to deal with mortar problems sooner rather than later.

If your chimney hasn’t yet been compromised structurally, we usually recommend tuckpointing to restore the masonry to a solid and attractive condition.

What Is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is the process by which soft and crumbling mortar joints are repaired, thus extending the life of your chimney significantly. It is an age-old art, and one that’s best left to an experienced chimney mason. During the process of tuckpointing your chimney—for the purpose of restoring your failing mortar—our masons will use specialized tools to remove the loose mortar and sand the mortar joints.

Once the failed mortar joints have been removed, new mortar is packed, or “tucked,” into the joints between the bricks and then tooled for a smooth, even finish. In most cases, our masons are able to perfectly color match the existing masonry so that your chimney doesn’t have that “patched up” look.

How Can I Protect My Masonry?

Because mortar is porous by nature, tuckpointing dramatically reduces water leaks and helps to restore your chimney’s structural integrity. We often advise having your chimney professionally waterproofed following a tuckpointing. This will greatly extend the life of your brick and mortar, keeping water out of your chimney yet still allowing it to breathe.

If your chimney’s mortar joints are deteriorating or missing, having A to Z Chimney Services tuckpoint the affected areas now will save you from dealing with—and coughing up the dollars for—more extensive repairs in the future.

Are you concerned about the condition of your chimney’s mortar or masonry? If you live in the Sacramento area, make an appointment with A to Z Chimney Services today! Email us at, call us, or fill out our online appointment form.


Your chimney crown may need to be restored to keep water from seeping through cracks into your home. Ask us more about this masonry restoration work and whether it is right for your situation.

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Dear A to Z Chimney

I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great service you have done for me. I am an avid wood burner and love to burn my fires just about every evening. There’s nothing like the simple pleasure of curling up next to a warm and cozy fire during those cold winter nights.

Unfortunately, I had a chimney fire which did extensive damage to my chimney and it had to be re-lined with a new Stainless Steel Liner.

Last year, I hired a different company to come out and sweep my chimney. The sweep from that company tried to use high pressure sales tactics to get me to do the repairs. His poor attitude and high pressure turned me off so badly that I decided not to have them do the work.

This year, I hired your company and Chris Donovan was such a gentleman! He gave me the same bad news, but this time I could see it with my own eyes on the screen as he video scanned my flue. He was also much more knowledgeable and informative and really took the time to help me understand. He did not talk condescendingly, and there was no pressure whatsoever.

Consequently, I did hire your company to come back and complete the needed repairs, and was absolutely delighted!! Not only did Chris come back, but Aaron, the owner came, as well. I was delighted to know that the owner was personally seeing to the work. In the process of repairing my chimney, some other minor problems were detected, and they fixed them at no additional charge!

In addition, when everything was done, they did a spectacular job cleaning up every bit of their mess, and I couldn’t even tell they had been here.

Thanks again for the great service you provide! I will use you again and again, and refer you to my friends.


~ Beverly Bland, Carmichael, CA
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