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Repairing Old Bricks and Mortar

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Whether your chimney is 1, 10, or 100 years old, it is important that the masonry receives regular maintenance to look and perform its best. Unfortunately, even well cared for bricks and mortar can deteriorate over time due to age, damage, poor construction, or simple long term exposure to the elements.
Repairing Old Bricks and Mortar - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweep of MI

Repairing old bricks and mortar can help extend the life of your chimney system – as well as keep your home’s exterior looking fresh. No matter the age of your masonry, keeping it maintained can have it looking new for years to come.

Why does my masonry need to be repaired?

Bricks and mortar are two of the strongest building materials available, built to withstand time and anything that Mother Nature can throw at it. Despite this, there are a number of factors that can cause masonry to deteriorate; below are three of the most common reasons why masonry needs to be repaired.

  • Water damage: Exposure to moisture is one of the most damaging forces to most chimneys. Water damage can cause bricks of any age to chip, crack, or spall, but can be especially damaging to older masonry. While water damage to the bricks may be more noticeable, damage to mortar often occurs first; we find that many homes have damage to the mortar long before the bricks show any sign of deterioration. It is important to catch masonry damage – especially to the mortar – early before it impacts the structural stability of the chimney.
  • Improper installation: The quality of materials used and how they are installed often make the biggest impact on how your masonry ages. For example, choosing the least expensive materials, using reclaimed or not locally sourced bricks, or not hiring a certified mason can all lead to chimney problems in the years to come.
  • Settling: Settling is a natural part of any home aging; depending on the age of your home and how it was built, the effects of settling can range from barely affect the chimney to causing serious structural damage. One common sign of damage caused by settling is large cracks inside the firebox; settling can also cause cracks in the exterior chimney or the entire chimney to list or tilt to one side.

Repairing damaged masonry

Having a damaged chimney doesn’t mean it needs to be torn down; there are a number of masonry repair services that can be used to save and restore your damaged chimney.

  •  Tuckpointing: Tuckpointing is one of the most common – and effective – chimney masonry repairs. During the tuckpointing process, old mortar is carefully removed before new mortar is applied. Our masonry experts take the time to match the colors of the new masonry to the old, ensuring the repaired areas blend right in with the rest of the chimney.
  • Rebuilds: Unfortunately, if damage is serious enough the chimney may need to be rebuilt. While most homeowners cringe at the thought of the cost, task, and time required by a rebuild, having the chimney rebuilt as soon as possible can allowing you to use your fireplace again without worrying about structural safety.

    No matter what state your masonry is currently in, Clean Sweeps of Michigan can get it back to looking beautiful again. Contact us today to learn more about what can do to repair your old bricks and mortar!