As homeowners there are so many different maintenance items to track, that unfortunately, our chimneys don’t always get the care they need. When minor chimney damage is not repaired timely, it can accelerate into more extensive repair work requiring chimney re-pointing or rebuilding. Chimney rebuilding and re-pointing are repair processes that restore the chimney’s structural integrity and appearance. While they both may seem similar, they are entirely different techniques. Here is the difference between chimney rebuilding and re-pointing:
The chimney is constructed with motor joints to keep the structure in place. As years go by, the mortar joints can begin to decay and create voids in areas of your chimney, such as in between the bricks. This is typically the result of exposure to the elements, including the freeze and thaw cycle during brutal Boston winters.
If your chimney’s bricks are in good shape, repointing might be the best option. This option helps repair the appearance and structure of your chimney. It also prevents further damage and moisture from entering the bricks. This can ultimately lead to your chimney experiencing significant structural damage to the point where it needs rebuilding.
The process of repointing involves grinding out the mortar joints between the brick within by 1/4″ to 1/2″. The joints are then filled back in with new mortar, and the excess is removed for a smooth and beautiful new look for your chimney!
There are some circumstances where a chimney’s repair goes beyond repointing. Rebuilding a chimney is often the result of years of neglect. The chimney can be unsafe to use until it is rebuilt.
There are several types of chimney rebuilding:
- Partial chimney rebuild: This is performed on smaller sections on a larger chimney or a small chimney. It sometimes includes a chimney crown rebuild.
- Roofline up rebuilds: This is when a new chimney is built up from the roof flashing. A roof line-up rebuild is the best option when pointing won’t sufficiently repair the damage.
- Complete rebuild: A complete rebuild is needed when the entire chimney structure is damaged. Example scenarios that require a complete rebuild include spawning, leaning, and severe mortar deterioration.
Maintenance Helps Avoid Rebuilding and Repointing
The good news is that you can delay the need to rebuild or repoint your chimney by working with professionals. Yearly chimney sweeps and inspections ensure that your chimney is properly performing, and its structure isn’t compromised.
Best Chimney has served the Boston area for over 30 years with state-of-the-art chimney cleaning and masonry services. If you’re unsure if your chimney needs repointing, rebuilding, or some other type of repair, our professional team can guide you in the right direction. We also offer chimney inspections and chimney sweeps, essential to keeping your chimney in proper working order.
Contact us to discuss these services.
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