Strengthening the Mortar
Have you noticed that the joints between the bricks on your chimney are crumbling or missing? Those of us living in Maryland won’t be surprised that chimneys are affected by our weather conditions. When it’s always humid and warm—not to mention the rain—the brick and mortar swells and expands. This is what breaks the mortar down over time.
A chimney that needs to be repointed is one of the many things that will be brought to your attention during your annual chimney inspection. We look at every point of the chimney, providing you with detailed information on any issues we might find and which ones require your attention. Repointing a chimney is the process of repairing and replacing mortar between the bricks of a chimney. We remove the old, crumbling mortar and replace it with new.
Here’s a quick look into what goes on during chimney repointing.
First, the old mortar has to be very carefully removed. Trust me when I say this can be a difficult and tedious job that’s best left to certified professionals. We’ve got to get all the old out before we can replace it with the new, and we do it without causing any more damage to your chimney.
Next, we find a match to the mortar already existing between the bricks. This is an important detail, and not just because of the visual effect. Not only should the new mortar match the old in color, it also needs to have the same compression strength as what was already in place, otherwise you’ll end up with mortar that’s competing against itself and ends up causing more damage.
Mortar has less compression strength than brick, otherwise you’d have to rebuild your chimney as often as you need to repoint it.
The mortar is applied through a process involving layering, compacting, and tooling. These important steps help the new mortar stick to the old, giving you the best durability and strength. To finish everything off, we’ll apply a sealant to waterproof and protect your chimney from water entry and damage.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t like to spend that hard-earned money unless it’s absolutely necessary, but taking care of this problem will save you a lot of time and money later on, before more extensive damage has taken place. Believe me, I’ve seen it all. Our certified technicians are experienced and educated in the best methods for repointing a chimney. We know the drill—at Clean Sweep Anne Arundel we’ve been taking care of chimneys for 35 years. We serve Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George counties, so give us a call. 410-590-4800.