Chimney Repointing & Chimney Rebuilding
If you’ve dealt with chimney repairs and services, you’ve probably heard the term “repointing.” You’ve also probably heard about chimney rebuilding. The two processes are quite different and each is needed for specific circumstances. Here’s an overview of chimney repointing and chimney rebuilding from National Chimney Cleaners of Morris County, NJ, and Fairfield County, CT.
Repointing a chimney
Chimney repointing (also referred to as “tuckpointing”) is the process that strengthens and renews a chimney’s mortar joints. The mortar in between the bricks of a chimney can begin to crumble and decay over time. This compromises the entire chimney structure. Repointing replaces areas of damaged mortar with a strong new compound that will hold up well for many years. Crumbling mortar is often an early sign of a chimney leak. Water penetrates small cracks in the mortar (as well as cracks in the bricks) and freezes. This causes an expansion that pushes against and damages structural materials. As a homeowner, you can do periodic visual inspections of your chimney masonry, watching for decayed mortar, cracked bricks, and anything else that indicates damage.Your inspections along with annual inspections by a licensed chimney inspector will ensure that your chimney is maintained for safety and performance.
A chimney rebuilding project involves parts of the chimney structure or, in severe cases, the entire chimney structure. In this process, the damaged areas are literally rebuilt with new bricks and mortar. Most major chimney rebuilding projects can be avoided by keeping an eye on your chimney and having it inspected regularly. This will allow you to spot early signs of damage and have them repaired before extensive problems show up throughout the masonry.
Old age and gradual decay can be addressed through timely repairs as the chimney ages. In some instances, a chimney can suffer major damage immediately, making rebuilding an immediate necessity. These instances include:
- Lightning strikes
- Gale-force winds
- Pounding hail storms
- Destructive chimney fires
Other causes of chimney structural damage that can show up over time or all at once include inferior materials used in the original construction of the chimney, severe house-settling, and an improperly built chimney footing.
What to do about a damaged chimney
You can’t prevent forces of nature from taking their toll on your chimney. But you can prevent more common causes of damage. Here are some tips:
- Keep your chimney flue clean: The annual removal of creosote by a trained chimney technician will dramatically reduce the chances of a chimney fire.
- Create minimal smoke: Creosote is an acidic and flammable byproduct of smoke, which can be lessened by burning only dry, seasoned firewood.
- Complete combustion with proper draft: Allow your logs to burn thoroughly and make less smoke by ensuring there’s a sufficient draft moving through the firebox
- Self-inspections: Visually inspect your chimney system periodically and alert your chimney services company if you find anything amiss.
- Professional inspections: Schedule annual chimney inspections from a licensed inspector.
A clean and safe chimney
These guidelines will help you take a major step toward a chimney that’s clean, safe, and efficient. When serious damage occurs, repointing and chimney rebuilding are great solutions for restoring your chimney to its original state. National Chimney Services provides complete repointing services and chimney rebuilding throughout Morris County, NJ, and Fairfield County, CT. We also perform all other chimney repairs, chimney cleaning, and chimney inspections.
Speak with a chimney pro today at 800-631-6177, or reach out through our simple contact form.