While bricks may seem to never age, the mortar that keeps the bricks together can be only be expected to last about 20-30 years (if struck correctly initially). And when those joints begin to weather and deteriorate, they take on water which weakens the joint even further – spelling disaster for the strength and aesthetics of your chimney.
Fortunately, there is a process called tuckpointing that addresses this, helping to extend your chimney’s life and make it look as good as new.
Tuckpointing is the process of removing the old, cracked, and crumbling mortar and replacing it with new mortar. The new mortar is mixed to match the old as closely as possible, so that it both restores the strength of the masonry work and refreshes its look.
Like all things worth having, regular maintenance to your chimney can keep it strong and visually pleasing, and tuckpointing is a central part of the chimney maintenance process.
Why Trust a Pro?
Because the process of tuckpointing is such an important part of keeping your chimney weatherproofed and looking great, it should only be done by a professional. While it seems to only involve two major steps – the removal of old mortar and the application of new mortar – there are actually many details to consider when actually doing it.
All too often, determined DIY-ers attempt it, then fail to weigh the many necessary components that make up a tuckpointing job. Here’s why we always recommend trusting someone who’s trained and skilled:
🧱 Mortar Composition Matching
When it comes to the health of your masonry, it’s important to remember that not all mortar is created equal. Factors such as who built the chimney, what time period it was built in, and even the climate during its construction all contribute to the makeup of the mortar that is holding your bricks together.
A professional will be able to examine the composition of the mortar and match it so that it will properly bond with and adhere to your current brickwork. This results in a longer lifespan for your system, and could mean the difference between having to tuckpoint again in a couple of years or a couple of decades.
🧱 Mortar Color Matching
Did you know that mortar makes up about 18 – 24% of the masonry in your chimney? Which means the color that is used for it really matters, and matching the new mortar to the old can have a huge impact on the overall look and aesthetic of your structure.
There are hundreds of colors of mortar available and within each of those colors there are countless shades and tints. For a professional look to your chimney, you need a near perfect color match – and for that color match you need a professional.
🧱 Mortar Application & Finishing
Water is the enemy of mortar and can have a significantly negative impact the health of your chimney overall. Improper application of your new mortar can lead to water gaining access to pores within your structure, but if the job is done right? Well, then your system will have reliable protection for the long haul.
A knowledgeable professional knows how to pack the mortar properly, then cut it to form a perfect concave shape which will direct water away from the chimney – creating the best struck joint possible.
🧱 Property Value
It’s not so hard to imagine that an amateur level job of tuckpointing can lead to a weakened structure and a look that’s far from polished. But many don’t realize that these factors can also contribute to the devaluing of an entire property.
Come time to move, aesthetics play a key role in the selling process. If your tuckpointing job doesn’t look streamlined and professional, it could give buyers pause and cause them to either lose interest in the home or ask for a lower price. Investing in quality work from the get-go will ensure your property looks great and will potentially help it sell quicker.
We Can Help You Out
Spotting cracks and decay throughout your masonry can put a big damper on your mood. The good news is, crumbling and old mortar doesn’t mean your chimney is nearing the end of its life. The professional and proven process of tuckpointing can turn that old-looking masonry chimney into one that looks as strong and beautiful as it was on the first day it was built.
Give us a call at 530-285-3841 or reach out online now to schedule your next appointment with our reliable crew. Once we’re through, you’ll be left with a strong, durable, and weather-resistant chimney that will last you for the long haul.