During your last chimney inspection, you may have heard the terms rebuilding and repointing. Both techniques are labor and time intensive, but rebuilding will use more materials and be more expensive. However, in many instances, you can opt for repointing or a partial rebuild to restore the crown. Windy Chimney Services can help you determine what may be best for you.
What Is Repointing?
This refers to replacing some or all mortar that binds the bricks in place. An experienced mason will chisel out any crumbling mortar and apply new mortar in its place. New mortar will slowly weather and blend in with the older joints in a year or two. This is a common way to keep a chimney in good working order.
Do I Need Repointing Or Rebuilding?
If the chimney and bricks are still structurally sound, and only the mortar is beginning to crumble, repointing may be all you need. Rebuilding is called for when the masonry bricks and joints both show signs of wear. Your professional will consider the chimney’s age when making their suggestion.
How Do You Know If A Chimney Needs To Be Replaced?
One sure sign that it should be rebuilt is water damage inside the house around the stack. This indicates the fireplace liner, mortar, and bricks no longer offer a weatherproof barrier. There are a few other indications:
- Loose Bricks On Ground
- Crumbling Bricks
- Fails An Inspection
Is It Better To Repoint Or Rebuild?
Replacing the mortar can extend the lifespan by another 25 years and is preferable if the bricks are in good shape. Well-maintained bricks can last for up to 100 years. A rebuild restores the chimney’s structure, but the costs can run into the thousands.
How Long Should A Rebuilt Chimney Last?
If your rebuild uses new bricks, it can last the life of the house with proper care and repointing every 20 years or so. If your mason uses 50-year-old bricks for the job, it may only last another 50 years.
Protect Your Home With An Annual Inspection & Sweep
The best way to avoid paying for a complete rebuild is to have your chimney inspected yearly by a qualified chimney sweep. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, Windy Chimney Services can offer repointing services as needed every few years to seal vulnerable joints in the brickwork and keep your home safe. Let us keep your home and family safe by calling to schedule an appointment today.