Well-built chimneys are meant to last for years but not if they are not maintained and looked after. Due to several reasons, chimneys will need regular repairs and replacements, which is going to cost a huge amount of time and money. It’s better to perform a chimney inspection twice a year to avoid problems. If you are going through a similar situation, we are going to help you repoint your chimney the easiest way possible. Let’s begin!
The Initial Process
If you are about to work on a chimney that was built before the development of modern kilns and firing techniques, you will have to be extra careful. The key to a successful chimney repointing process is to not do any harm. You need to avoid even small chips during the process.
The reason is that the fire skin on the brick surface features a softer and porous interior. This is especially the case on older bricks. If the skin tends to be broken or weak, the bricks will simply succumb to the weathering process. However, if the chimney is built correctly using a mortar, then clearing out the joints and protecting the skin is comparatively easier. A chimney repointing process is a tough task. You will have to make tough decisions that take a lot of time and effort.
Removing Old Mortar
The old mortar removing process is the most complicated than anything else and cannot be ignored or skipped. However, it will be good for you to know that you don’t need to remove all the mortar. At the same time, you need to ensure that you do not go in too deep because the mortar there may be hard to handle.
Furthermore, the new mortar will not go with the older mortar. With that said, you will need to clear the debris and anything else that hinders the proper application of the new mortar. In addition to that, you can also use a grinder, hammer, or any other tool to remove mortar. However, then again, make sure that you do not damage the bricks during the process.
If you observe that the brick’s surface is slightly damaged, you could try carefully removing, spinning, and mortar it back in. If that is not the case, simply go ahead and replace the bricks along with the mortar later on. If you are using a hammer or any other tool to strike the mortar, remove any leftovers.
Breaking out broken chimney bricks is also a complicated process. Even a slightly deeper thrust than required can easily break the nearby bricks. You can expect tiny pieces to fall out from here and there and you need to clear as part of the process.
Repointing Done Right
When it comes to the repointing process, you are going to need some equipment such as tuck-pointing trowels. While some people tend to use a mortar hawk, others prefer using rectangular finishing trowels.
Lift and apply the right amount of mortar from the bucket using a brick trowel and begin filling the joints from top to bottom so that the material does not drop on your completed work. While repairing the joints, slightly overfill to make them airtight, which can otherwise weaken them.
Mixing The Mortar
Mixing the mortar is not as complicated as it might seem. Always use mortar that is softer than the brick. There are three types of mortar commonly available including M, S, and N. However, you should never use type M or S for repointing. Depending on the age of the brickwork, you will need a soft mortar.
While mixing the mortar, use a clean bucket. If you have a bagged mix, take an estimate of the amount you’ll use in the bucket and after that pour in some water. Begin mixing while adding a small amount of water until the mortar turns into a ball.
However, there is no universal rule when it comes to mixing mortars. Different brands recommend different guidelines and you should follow them.
Concluding, repointing a chimney requires taking your time and ensuring proper mixing of the mortar in addition to its application. Plus, you should select the right mortar type and tools to apply. If you find the process complicated, hire chimney repair Columbia MD services who guarantee to repoint your chimney the right way.