Have you been noticing decay and deterioration occurring throughout your chimney masonry? A common problem for our customers is crumbling mortar joints, which not only looks unsightly, but negatively impacts the structural integrity of your entire system, too. Needless to say, it’s not a problem you want to ignore.
Fortunately for folks throughout Raleigh, Durham, and all of their surrounding areas, the team here at Mr. Smokestack offers tuckpointing and repointing services, which means that in no time, we’ll have your mortar joints back to where they need to be.
Tuckpointing vs. Repointing: What’s the Difference?
Now, both tuckpointing and repointing are words that get thrown around a lot in the chimney industry, and oftentimes they’re used interchangeably. So, is there actually a difference between these two terms? Let’s go over the specifics of each.
Tuckpointing: Tuckpointing is a practice that originated in England back in the late 1700s, and it was meant to imitate a popular (but expensive) design choice of that time. What builders discovered was that the same look could be achieved with a much simpler process – tuckpointing. Essentially, they’d place a fine, white mortar material into the empty joints of the brickwork, creating a clean, polished, and highly desirable appearance.
Today, tuckpointing is used similarly. Once your mortar starts to break down, the old, weakened materials can be scraped out, after which new materials will be added to ensure your masonry structure maintains that long-lasting aesthetic appeal you know and love.
Repointing: Repointing is similar to tuckpointing in that the old mortar is removed and then replaced with new materials. That said, repointing has more of a focus on stability. Once the new mortar is applied, your masonry will be better protected from the elements, ensuring it can stand tall and strong throughout all types of inclement weather.
Basically, they both involve digging out old mortar joints and replacing it with new mortar, but tuckpointing is a more cosmetic process, while repointing focuses more on maintaining structural soundness.
Do I Really Need a Pro?
Now, if you’ve got a reputation for tackling even the most daring do-it-yourself projects, you may be wondering if you can tackle this job with a caulk gun and a bit of technical know-how. Is it really something a professional needs to be called in for?
The short answer – yes.
Tuckpointing and repointing are jobs that should always be handled by a trained and certified chimney sweep, and failing to hire one for the job can lead to a lot more expense and stress on your end down the line.
How so? Well, first of all, matching mortar colors isn’t always so easy, especially if your chimney is on the older side. And if the new doesn’t match the old nearly perfectly, you can say good-bye to that curbside appeal you once took so much pride in.
On this same note, the makeup of the materials need to be appropriately matched in order for your system to stay strong and sturdy for the long haul. If not, your system may look a bit better, but it will still be weak, meaning you’ll be facing more damage again before you know it.
Finally, passing on professional care can put you at risk of property damage or serious injury. If the damaged mortar joints are repaired properly, they’ll leave open pathways for smoke and other harmful gases (like carbon monoxide) to enter your living space, and these gaps may even allow heat and flames to one day reach adjacent woodwork. In the end, it’s well worth making the investment in professional care now, rather than paying thousands to rebuild parts of your property down the line.
When Should I Have Tuckpointing/Repointing Services Done?
If you invest in a service, you want it to last, right? This is why we suggest waiting until the spring or summer months to get your tuckpointing/repointing services completed.
Why? The materials we use to get the job done need time to cure, and this is best done when things are warmer. Thanks to newer technologies, we can do these repairs during cold weather in a pinch, but if it can be put off a few months, then that’s always going to be the better route to take, as your results will last a lot longer.
In the end, wintertime repairs simply don’t hold as well and you’ll need to invest in further maintenance sooner than is normally expected.
What’s Next? Waterproofing!
Now, there’s simply no point in fixing up your masonry only to let rain and snow damage it for the remainder of the year. Once we’ve got your brickwork and mortar back in good shape, ask about investing in our waterproofing services, too. Like with tuckpointing/repointing, this isn’t a DIY job, as store-bought paints and sealers aren’t vapor-permeable.
Our products, on the other hand, give your masonry a protective seal, while still allowing your brickwork to breath out any pre-absorbed moisture or any other fireplace fumes. Trust us – this is one service you don’t want to skimp out on.
Give Our Experts a Call Today
Chimney repairs aren’t something to put off. What seems bad now will only worsen overtime, so if you need care don’t hesitate to give our experts a hollar right away.
And remember – if you find terms like tuckpointing, repointing, smoke chamber, creosote, or any other technical jargon throwing you for a loop, feel free to ask us about it! We’re here to ensure homeowners throughout the Triangle and Central North Carolina stay informed and educated on it all.
Ready to get started? Give us a call or reach out online now!