What to Know About Tuckpointing & Repointing?
As your chimney ages, its appearance will change as normal wear and tear reduce its strength and stability. In climates like here in the Greater Washington DC area, icy winter conditions at night and warm afternoons accelerate masonry deterioration, leading to decaying mortar and gaps in the mortar joints or points. When you wear out the leather on your favorite pair of expensive shoes, it’s less costly to replace the soles than to buy another pair of the same shoes. The same goes for the chimney. It’s much less expensive to replace the decaying mortar than to rebuild an entire chimney.
What is the Purpose of Tuckpointing?
So, what is tuckpointing? Tuckpointing is a technique skilled masons use to restore a masonry chimney’s strength and stability with a like-new appearance. A mason uses a unique tool to scoop out the old mortar and then tucks in new mortar in the points (spaces between the bricks) that are color matched to the entire sections of the chimney. Tuckpointing can avoid a more costly partial or complete chimney rebuild when masonry damage is limited to crumbling and decaying mortar joints.
The most significant benefit of tuckpointing is saving your chimney from further masonry deterioration that will lead to more extensive repairs or rebuilding.
There are many other valuable benefits, such as:
- Restores your chimney’s strength and appearance
- Stops water damage and leaks that can lead to spalling bricks
- Improves fireplace heating efficiency
- Reduces risk of fire and exposure to harmful contaminants
- It saves your chimney from a more costly rebuild
- It gives your chimney a longer lifespan
When Your Chimney Needs Tuckpointing
If you see thinning or missing mortar between the brick layers, but the bricks are still intact, your chimney needs tuckpointing.
What are the steps to tuck-pointing?
- First, we scoop out the decaying mortar in the joints.
- Then, we clean and dry the cavities ensuring it is free of debris.
- Next, we mix the mortar and add coloring to match the undamaged mortar.
- Finally, we tuck the new color-matched mortar material into the points.
Is Repointing the Same as Tuckpointing?
Since they are similar processes, it’s easy to confuse repointing with tuckpointing. However, thevmortar terminology is not synonymous.
Tuckpointing replaces the joints with new, color-matched mortar material to give your chimney a seamless appearance, making the repair less apparent.
With repointing, the points are filled with new mortar without color matching, so there will be a color contrast between the areas of the chimney that were repointed and the untouched sections.
Chimney Tuckpointing in Washington, DC
We can save your chimney from a more costly rebuild! Bethesda Chimney provides exceptional tuckpointing services that will restore your masonry chimney's strength, stability, and appearance.
Our experienced masons serve customers in Montgomery County, MD, Northeast VA, and Washington DC.
Call 301-969-4444 or 703-935-4444 to schedule a chimney inspection today!