When was the last time you thought about the condition of your Milwaukee chimney?

Chimneys provide a great design element to your home. Tuckpointing ensures stability and longevity through tough winters and rainy springs.

chimney smoke rising from chimney

Like any structural component in your home, a chimney will begin to show wear and tear and need maintenance. Because the outside of a chimney is always exposed to the elements, it will deteriorate more quickly.

Now, you may be asking yourself what exactly tuckpointing is. This is the process of replacing old and damaged mortar between bricks or stone.

Read on to learn why your chimney needs it.

Maintaining the Structural Integrity of Your Chimney

Mortar used in masonry chimneys usually lasts about 25 years. After that, it will begin to break down due to  exposure to moisture and freezing temperatures. If this is not remedied, the result could be a collapsed chimney and the need for a costly rebuild.

Old mortar joints will eventually allow water to enter the chimney, and this water can even work its way between the chimney and flue lining. Water coming in through your chimney can cause damage to the surrounding ceiling and walls.

Because brick holds up much longer, replacing the mortar will return the chimney back to its original condition. This is the most cost-effective way to maintain the structural integrity and appearance of your chimney.

To give you a better idea of what takes place during tuckpointing, let’s take a look at the process.

  • The old mortar gets routed at a consistent depth.
  • Red mortar added to the newly routed grooves improves stability.
  • New grooves get added by cutting small strips in the red mortar.
  • Mortar of the desired color adds the appropriate aesthetic.

Signs Your Chimney Needs Tuckpointing

The repair and maintenance history of your home’s chimney will be a big indicator of whether it’s time to have it serviced. But there are ways to tell if tuckpointing is necessary even if you don’t have this information.

If you can access the chimney from the roof, look for cracks or separation between the bricks. Take a screwdriver and try scraping the mortar. If you can easily scrape or break it away, it’s probably time to have it replaced.

Look for small pieces of mortar around the base, where the chimney meets the roof. This is an indication the masonry is deteriorating and slowly crumbling.

Do you notice dripping water in the fireplace while it’s raining? Do you have water damage on the walls or ceiling around the fireplace? These are both signs that the mortar may no longer be structurally sound.

Chimney Repair and Restoration

Due to its location, problems with the outside portion of your chimney can go unnoticed. It’s important to examine the condition of the masonry and be aware of the warning signs that the mortar is deteriorating.

If you suspect that repairs are necessary on the exterior of your chimney, a qualified professional needs to diagnose the issue. We provide residential chimney and roofing services in the Milwaukee area. Contact us today.