Signs Your Chimney Needs Tuckpointing Repair
Keeping your chimney well-maintained is essential for it to operate efficiently and safely. Unfortunately, many people put off or ignore routine inspection and maintenance, which can lead to significant damage. Tuckpointing is one technique chimney experts have in their arsenal to repair damaged masonry, and we’ll look at what it is, the signs you need it, and how to prevent chimney damage.
What is Tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing is a centuries-old masonry repair technique going back to at least the 18th century. Also known as repointing, tuckpointing is a process that restores deteriorated mortar joints in a brick structure. Masons remove the damaged mortar and replace it with new to match the original as closely as possible.
The benefits of tuckpointing are that it strengthens the structure, extending its lifespan and restoring its appearance. Tuckpointing done by an experienced professional can last up to 30 years.
Signs Your Chimney Needs Tuckpointing
Tuckpointing can save your chimney, but how do you know when it needs it? Here are the most common signs.
Crumbling Mortar Joints
The obvious sign that your chimney is falling apart is if you notice the mortar joints are crumbling or missing. If you see gaps in your chimney’s brickwork, it’s essential to call a chimney professional to assess the damage and determine if it needs to be repointed or more substantial repairs.
Loose or Out-of-Place Bricks
If you see bricks that appear loose or out of place, it typically means the mortar joints are gone. Loose or out-of-place bricks don’t only look bad; they allow water infiltration, which can damage the flue liner.
Another sign that your chimney needs maintenance is if you see visible water damage, like staining, dampness, or mold growth inside your house. As mentioned above, loose bricks and missing mortar joints create gaps that allow water to get in.
Chimney Leaning or Bulging
Failing to repair deteriorating mortar joints quickly can cause the chimney to lean or bulge, which could lead to a total collapse. Routine chimney inspections are essential to catch and repair minor issues before they worsen, resulting in expensive chimney rebuilding.
How to Prevent Chimney Damage
Depending on how badly damaged your chimney is and market conditions, tuckpointing can be expensive, so it’s wise to do everything you can to keep your chimney in good shape and avoid needing major repairs. Here’s what the experts recommend.
Schedule Annual Chimney Inspection and Maintenance
The best thing you can do for your chimney and fireplace is to schedule annual maintenance, cleaning, and inspection by a trained, certified professional. Certified pros have the education and experience to know what to look for and assess whether your chimney is in good shape or if there are problems that require addressing.
Address Minor Issues Quickly
Neglect is the number one reason chimneys need repointing. If you have a chimney inspection, and you’re told there’s minor damage that needs repairing, you should take care of it as quickly as possible because it doesn’t take long for minor issues to escalate and become major headaches down the road, especially if you live in an area where freezing and thawing occur.
Maintain Your Chimney Crown
The chimney crown prevents water from getting into the flue by diverting it to the roof. Moisture is a chimney’s primary enemy, so if your crown is cracked or missing, it exposes the chimney to water and potentially wear and tear.
Lastly, if your chimney is in good condition, and you keep up with routine maintenance and cleaning, consider asking your chimney professional to apply a waterproofing product to protect it from water damage. Depending on the climate you live in, a waterproofing product can last from five to ten years before needing to be reapplied.
In addition to chimney inspections, cleaning, and repair, the Certified Professionals at Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney provide complete dryer vent inspection and cleaning services in Amherst, Batavia, Sloan, and communities throughout northwest New York. Call (716) 907-4914 or (585) 308-4914 to schedule service or an estimate. You can also contact us online here