Fall and winter ushers in the rainy season here in Sacramento. All of that rain can be damaging to your masonry chimney, especially if your chimney already has weakened mortar joints. That’s why, as you prepare your chimney for the fall and winter months, you should be considering tuckpointing for your weakened mortar joints.
What is tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing is a masonry repair that involves the removal and replacement of crumbling mortar joints. Using specialized tools, our masons scrape away deteriorating mortar and then sand down the joints. A new layer of mortar is then applied into the masonry’s gaps. That new mortar is smoothed down with masonry tools to blend seamlessly with the chimney.
When is tuckpointing necessary?
While your chimney’s bricks will last for generations, the mortar that holds them together has a life span of about 25 years. Over time, the mortar absorbs moistures and begins to crumble. Your chimney’s mortar joints should be tuckpointed when it becomes apparent that the mortar joints are weakening. If you notice visible crumbling in your chimney’s mortar, it is time to consider tuckpointing. If you are questioning the integrity of your chimney’s mortar, you can take a key or screwdriver and scrape it along a mortar joint. A sound mortar joint won’t be affected by the pressure, but a scratch will appear in deteriorating mortar. Your chimney sweep also will advise you about weakened mortar joints during your annual chimney sweeping and inspection.
Why should you have your chimney tuckpointed?
If you or your chimney sweep notices deteriorating mortar joints, why shouldn’t you delay having your chimney tuckpointed? Deteriorating mortar joints opens your chimney up to the risks of leaks and further water damage. As the Chimney Safety Institute of America points out, water is a chimney’s No.1 enemy. A chimney with failing mortar joints can allow water to seep into your chimney and fireplace, causing damage to the chimney liner, damper, firebox and fireplace doors. If crumbling mortar joints are ignored for too long, they can compromise your chimney’s entire structure, leading to costly repairs. Furthermore, a chimney with crumbling mortar can be unsightly! Tuckpointing can restore the look of your masonry chimney and your home. If only one section of your chimney is in need of tuckpointing, A to Z’s chimney experts can match the new mortar to the existing mortar to avoid an inconsistent look.
How can you protect your chimney’s mortar from damage?
Once your chimney’s mortar has been restored with tuckpointing, A to Z recommends a waterproofing treatment to protect your mortar and masonry, and to extend the life of your chimney. Chimney waterproofing treatments block moisture from being absorbed into the chimney structure while still allowing the chimney’s masonry to exhaust moisture and gases.
Ready to restore your chimney with tuckpointing? Call A to Z!
If your chimney is in need of tuckpointing, or if you would like to have your chimney’s masonry inspected because you worry it might be deteriorating, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule an appointment today!