A close-up of a brick wall.

What Is Tuckpointing and Why Might I Need It?

Most chimneys will last well over 50 years before they need replacing. What causes premature deterioration of chimneys is not the bricks, but the mortar holding together bricks. Less durable than cement or concrete, mortar consists of pulverized sand, water, lime, and cement. Unlike brick, mortar is susceptible to environmental damage over the years. Seasonal temperature changes, rain, snow, and ice causes the expansion and retraction of mortar. Eventually, mortar loses its ability to hold bricks together, becoming crumbly and cracked. If old chimney mortar is not removed and replaced with new mortar, the chimney bricks themselves could start cracking and breaking.

To avoid a complete chimney replacement, homeowners should consider calling Davis Brothers Chimney Sweep and Masonry for experienced tuckpointing services before mortar starts deteriorating.

What Does Tuckpointing Mean?

Tuckpointing a chimney involves the removal of damaged mortar that is replaced with new mortar. It’s important that you rely only on expert masonry technicians to perform tuckpointing. When shoddily done, tuckpointing may cause more problems to chimney integrity and durability than not having tuckpointing done at all.

The tuckpointing process begins with one of our masons carefully grinding out old mortar from between bricks. An angle grinder tool is used to remove old mortar quickly and precisely. Next, our mason will:

  • Mix fresh mortar that matches your chimney’s shade of bricks. Multiple pigments are used to achieve an exact or close-to exact color match
  • Fill horizontal joints first with new mortar and then proceed to fill remaining joints
  • Smooth wet mortar according to how you want it to look (slightly indented, smooth, a combination of both, etc.)
  • Use tuckpointing tools to form straight center lines on hardening but still moist mortar placed in joints
  • The final step involves a mason applying lime putty to provide extra binding qualities to new mortar

What Are the Benefits of Tuckpointing?

Here’s how tuckpointing can bolster the overall structural integrity of your chimney:

Don’t wait until your chimney is falling apart. Tuckpointing has saved our customers thousands of dollars in chimney repair costs. Call today to schedule an inspection of your chimney’s mortar, bricks, and general condition.