What is Chimney Tuckpointing?
Throughout the life of your masonry chimney there will be regular wear and tear, despite the best prevention and routine maintenance. One of the most common complaints of homeowners, city code enforcement, and insurance and real estate agents is the mortar cracking and falling out from the bricks in the chimney. This calls for tuck pointing, which is the process by which a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) removes the existing, damaged mortar and replaces it.
Cosmetic or Necessary
If the mortar is allowed to drop from the masonry, eventually the bricks will become loose and fall. Falling bricks can be an extreme hazard, because they can damage the roof, eaves, gutters, and windows, as well as fall onto people causing injury or even death. While tuckpointing will improve the look of your masonry chimney, correcting cracks, holes, and missing portions of mortar, it will also save you in possible home & chimney damage or even law suit in the future.
Why It’s Important to Hire a Chimney Professional
Tuckpointing may not seem like a big deal, but it’s important to hire a professional to do it, and not just because you might be afraid of heights. The truth is that tuckpointing is a tedious job, and only those trained properly can match the new mortar with the aged mortar that remains in the masonry. The chimney sweep should match the mortar so that it looks the same, but also so the mortar is the same consistency of the existing mortar. An experienced chimney sweep will most likely find out the year the chimney was constructed in order to get an accurate idea of the mortar used in the masonry. If the mortar is not the same consistency as the existing mortar, the chimney isn’t as strong structurally after tuckpointing.
Another reason to hire a professional is because mortar is almost impossible to remove from bricks once it’s dried. All too often homeowners or inexperienced handymen attempt tuckpointing, accidentally getting mortar on the face of the bricks. A professional chimney sweep is trained to complete the job without these mistakes, and knows how to quickly clean the mortar before it dries.
Finally mortar falling from the masonry can be the result of water or moisture getting inside the masonry, then freezing and thawing repeatedly. This can cause other damage that should be assessed by a chimney sweep, and may need repairs. It’s always best to schedule chimney work with a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, and keep up with routine maintenance so that you chimney sweep can catch minor problems before they become major ones.
Trust your tuckpointing to a Black Moose professional, and schedule an appointment today.