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  • Writer's pictureJustin McDaid

What is Tuckpointing?

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

Over time, wear and tear take a toll on chimneys.

While chimney repairs are inevitable, they aren't one-size-fits-all. Weather, materials used, and quality of craftsmanship all play into how long your brick and mortar will last before repairs, which is typically 25-30 years.

Having a yearly chimney sweep and inspection by a certified professional can determine what maintenance will help your chimney last so you are not making any unnecessary repairs in the future.

What is Tuckpointing?

Repairing mortar joints is most likely one of the last things a homeowner is worried about, but it can be crucial depending on the state of the mortar.

Tuckpointing can be what prevents the need for a complete rebuild or demo.

While tuckpointing improves the exterior look of a chimney, it also makes a chimney waterproof and lengthens the life of the chimney walls.

The Process of Tuckpointing

First, a mason will grind and remove the damaged mortar joints. They will then mix the mortar and fill the joints with the appropriate mix and color to try to maintain a consistent look with the rest of the chimney.

Once the mortar has set for the appropriate amount of time, the joint will be struck. There are different methods and tools used to strike the joints.

Finally, the cleaning process will begin, and voila! A chimney waterproofing sealant will be applied, ready to protect your chimney for years to come.


Chimney damage can be visible, but sometimes it can go unnoticed to the untrained eye and serious problems can arise because of it.

Signs your chimney needs tuckpointing:

  • There are cracks in the mortar joints. Any holes in the mortar between the bricks may allow water inside which can freeze and cause more severe cracks.

  • Mortar is crumbling off of the chimney.

  • Entire bricks or smaller pieces fall off, known as spalling. Spalling is unrepairable and at that point the brick would need to be removed and replaced with a new brick.

  • Vegetation begins to grow on the chimney.

  • The top of the chimney is discolored due to water retention.

Why Hire a Professional?

A DIY tuckpointing job is possible, however, there are serious risks to consider.

1. While grinding mortar, breathing in mortar dust can cause long-term damage to ones' respiratory system.

2. Along with physical hazards, it is possible to impair the structure of the chimney by grinding or knocking bricks out of place instead of mortar.

3. Mixing mortar is an art. If inexperienced, when all is said and done different colors may appear throughout the project diminishing the aesthetic.

4. Once the mortar is mixed, it dries within 30-60 minutes. This may cause one to rush and possibly make mistakes or end up having to throw it away.

5. Tuckpointing can be a messy process. An experienced mason will be able to protect your home and minimize the amount of leftover dust.

You can be confident in a certified professional's ability to know what they are looking at, have the proper tools needed for the job, are certified to do what they do.

At Firetec, we have had years of experience to improve and perfect our craft. A job well done is not simply about looks, but increases the structure's lifetime.

Experts offer these services regularly. They know the best materials to use and what they should cost, which save you from being over-charged.

At Firetec, we prioritize proper education, certifications, and training for our masons so that you receive the best quality, service, and materials that provide aesthetic results that last!

Don’t put the safety of your family and greatest asset at risk. Trust the experts!

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