Many homeowners mistakenly believe that masonry structures like brick and stone chimneys require zero maintenance. In reality, the mortar joints in a brick or stone chimney are not that durable. Wind, rain and freezing temperatures conspire to erode these joints. Over time the weakened mortar joints will cause both water leakage and structural problems.

A good rule of thumb is every 20-30 years a masonry chimney’s mortar joints will need to be cut-out, cleaned and refilled with fresh mortar–a process known as tuckpointing or repointing.

Removing the old mortar during chimney repointing is a time-consuming, but necessary step in this process because it ensures a long-lasting repair. Unfortunately, we see numerous chimneys in our service area that have simply been “ribbon pointed.” Ribbon pointing refers to merely coating old deteriorating mortar with new mortar. A ribbon pointed chimney will require repointing in just 5-7 years whereas a properly repointed chimney will endure for decades.

If the mortar joints in your chimney have gaps, cracks or show visible deterioration, call Chadds Ford Chimney Sweeps for a solid repointing solution.