Your home needs regular maintenance year round, but as fall and winter approach, some extra precautions typically need to be taken. From scheduling a tune-up for your furnace to making sure your pipes are insulated, ensuring your home is ready to take on anything the cold weather brings is a must.
That said, amidst all of this, many forget that their chimney needs care too. The bricks and mortar that make it up may seem strong, sturdy, and reliable, but the freeze/thaw cycle can cause a lot of damage in a season if things aren’t adequately taken care of. And once your mortar joints start to deteriorate, you’re really in trouble.
Fortunately, we can help restore damaged masonry with our tuckpointing services.
What’s Involved in the Tuckpointing Process?
Tuckpointing is the process of repairing or reinforcing the mortar between your bricks. Over time, weather and wear and tear can cause the mortar to crack or crumble, which then leads to serious and threatening structural issues. Before you know it, your home could be vulnerable to gas leaks, fire hazards, or maybe even a chimney collapse.
Tuckpointing is both an art and a science.
The first step in chimney tuckpointing is to remove the old mortar from the joints between the bricks or stones. This can be done with a chisel or other specialty tools. Once the old mortar is removed, the joints are cleaned out and new mortar is applied. The new mortar must be of the same type and color as the original mortar so that it blends in seamlessly.
Tuckpointing is both an art and a science. Because of this, trusting an experienced professional for the job is imperative.
Why Is Tuckpointing Important?
Why is tuckpointing something sweeps prioritize? There are three big reasons: 1) to improve aesthetics 2) to maintain structural strength and 3) to provide a moisture barrier.
Your home’s curb appeal and overall value will suffer if the masonry that makes it up is cracked and crumbling. Bricks can make a beautiful statement, but only if they are well-maintained and in tip-top condition.
No one wants to invest in a property that’s going to require a lot of expensive masonry work. If you ever plan to sell your home, potential buyers will certainly take notice of its condition, and you may find it harder to get the price you want if the exterior looks shabby. Tuckpointing can get your worn out and unsightly mortar joints looking like new again.
Tuckpointing can help maintain the structural integrity of your masonry. Over time, water can seep into any cracks and cause the mortar to expand and contract during the freeze/thaw cycle. The longer damages go unaddressed, the larger the cracks will become – and they can even cause bricks to become loose and fall out.
By having your chimney inspected regularly your sweep can stay alert to any changes in the brickwork and schedule tuckpointing services as soon as issues arise. When it comes to chimney care, the sooner you act, the better!
In connection to structural strength, tuckpointing is particularly important in preventing moisture infiltration. When water seeps into cracks or voids in mortar joints, it can cause the masonry to deteriorate from the inside out – resulting in a lot of costly water and leak-related damage in the process.
By filling in these gaps with fresh mortar, tuckpointing provides an effective barrier against moisture intrusion keeping your chimney – and the rest of your home – safer and sturdier. And once we’re done, be sure to invest in professional waterproofing too.
When Do I Need Tuckpointing?
You may need tuckpointing when you notice any of the following issues:
- Gaps or cracks in mortar joints
- Spalling bricks (bricks that are chipped, flaking, or peeling)
- Crumbling mortar
- Leaning chimneys
- Water or leak-related damages (like rusting, cracking, water pooling, and more)
Generally speaking, if more than 25% of your mortar joints are damaged or missing, it’s time to do some tuckpointing.
Don’t wait until all the joints are in bad shape. By then, the damage will be more extensive and expensive to address. Tuckpointing should be a regular part of your home maintenance routine, especially if you live in an older home. Get our techs on the job now to save time, stress, and money over time.
Can I DIY Tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing is a skilled trade that takes years of practice to perfect. If you’re considering it for your home, it’s always best to hire a qualified contractor who has experience with this type of work. The process requires specialty tools and professional know-how for getting the job done correctly, and improperly done tuckpointing can actually do more harm than good.
When you hire a professional masonry contractor to do the job, they will assess the damage and develop the most appropriate plan of action. This could mean incorporating some brick replacement services too. Our chimney professionals have lots of experience with all types of masonry repairs, so you can rest assured we’ll get the job done right.
Reach Out – We’d Love to Hear From You
The purpose of tuckpointing is twofold: 1) to improve the appearance of brickwork by making joints more regular and flush with brick faces, and 2) to improve the strength and weather-resistance of your masonry to help protect the other building components of your home.
It should be a regular part of any brick or masonry maintenance program, and our chimney specialists would be happy to help you out. Call us at 518-500-4048 or reach out online today!