Chimney Rebuilding vs. Repointing
In the world of chimney repair, there are many terms that get thrown around, sometimes interchangeably. It can make things a little confusing for the average homeowner. Chimney rebuilding and chimney repointing are a few of those terms that can leave you scratching your head.
A chimney rebuild involves, completely removing everything on the chimney including the existing brick and mortar joints down to the bare chimney base so the technician starts with a clean slate and rebuilds the chimney almost from scratch. In repointing, only the mortar is removed and replaced.
Do You Need Chimney Rebuilding or Chimney Repointing?
The trauma of weather can take its toll on your chimney. The mortar can crack and deteriorate over time leaving it susceptible to water damage and structural issues. There are some tell-tale signs that your chimney needs a complete rebuild rather than a cosmetic fix.
- Brick Spalling – This is a condition caused by water freezing and defrosting inside of the brick. It doesn’t take long before this constant cycle degrades the brick from the inside out causing the surface of the brick to fall off. Brick spalling can weaken the whole structure. If your chimney is affected by copious amounts of brick spalling a rebuild may be in order not just to fix the overall structure but to deal with the water leaks that caused the problem to begin with.
- Chimney Crown Damage – Your Chimney Crown is the uppermost part of your chimney responsible for keeping water from running down into your home. If the chimney crown has become damaged or is missing entirely, this means your chimney has taken on excess water and most likely has severe water damage.
- Bricks Turning White – Most people assume that this discoloration is simply bleaching from the sun, it’s not. This is another sign that water has begun to soak into the brick, the sodium in it is left behind when the water evaporates. This issue can be controlled at the beginning stages through routine cleaning with soap and water or power-washing, but if this white staining has been a problem for years, this is a sign of water damage, and you may be in need of a rebuild.
How Do You Know If Repointing Is The Issue?
If your chimney has mortar missing in places but you have had an inspection and are cleared of any water damage. Then repointing rather than rebuilding may be the way to go, especially if you noticed and your professional has confirmed, that the bricks themselves are in good shape. Repointing tends to be a cost-effective option and when it’s done your chimney will look brand new. The question of rebuilding or repointing may be a difficult one, contact a professional and get an expert opinion.
Call Burlington Fireplace at 262-763-3522 or contact us online.