Chimney Tuckpointing: What You Need to Know
You may have heard the terms “repointing” and “tuckpointing” in relation to a chimney structure. Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace of Huntington Beach, CA, would like to explain a little about what these chimney repair processes are and how they can preserve and even save your chimney.
In simple terms, “pointing” is when mortar is added between the bricks during a chimney’s construction. When decaying mortar in older chimneys is removed and replaced, it’s called “repointing.” The process of removing mortar and filling the gaps with new mortar that matches the color of the bricks and then adding putty of a contrasting color is referred to as “tuckpointing.”
In common conversations, all mortar work is generally called “tuckpointing.” But whatever you call it, the important thing to know is how it can preserve your chimney.
How long should mortar last?
While chimney bricks can hold up for a century, chimney mortar often begins to fail after 25 or 30 years. Causes of mortar deterioration include inferior original mortar, years of extreme weather, earthquakes, chimney fires and other events.
Hairline cracks typically happen first. In many cases, these can be treated with a sealant to keep water out of the chimney system. Further down the line, mortar may begin to crumble and fall away. This is when tuckpointing becomes necessary.
When chimney mortar issues are ignored
If tuckpointing is required but continually put off, more and more mortar will disappear from the masonry. Mortar decay is ongoing; it’s not a one-time thing.
Eventually, the chimney will begin letting water in through the compromised areas. This can lead to widespread water damage to the chimney masonry, flue liner, fireplace damper, adjacent home building materials and other parts of the system.
Without proper tuckpointing, a chimney can start to lean to one side. In the worst-case scenario, it can collapse entirely. Needless to say, a chimney collapse is not only dangerous to people in and around the home, it’s also quite expensive to resolve.
Hiring the Right Professional for Tuckpointing
Chimney masons are often called upon to repair damaged mortar joints as well as loose (spalled) bricks in residential and commercial chimneys.
Tuckpointing and all levels of masonry work should not be attempted by untrained individuals, particularly in California, where building and fire safety codes are particularly stringent.
Tuckpointing projects begin with an inspection
Before any work is done to your chimney, a licensed inspection should be performed by a certified chimney sweep or chimney company. Your inspector will be looking for issues with the mortar and for any related damage.
You’ll be given a report showing what was found, how it should be repaired and what the cost will be. As with tuckpointing work and other chimney repairs, hire only experienced chimney professionals to perform inspections.
Call your Southern California chimney experts today
Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace brings more than 30 years’ experience to tuckpointing projects. We provide certified chimney sweeping, chimney inspections and complete chimney repair and rebuilding services.
We proudly serve Huntington Beach CA, Long Beach CA, Torrance CA, Anaheim CA, Santa Ana CA, Fountain Valley CA, Seal Beach CA, Garden Grove CA, Irvine CA, and many more SoCal communities.
Speak with a chimney expert today at (714) 843-9944 or get in touch with our handy contact form.