Tuckpoint or Rebuild: Which Does Your Chimney Need?

Your masonry chimney was built to last for years – 100 years or more! Unfortunately, the mortar that is holding the bricks together isn’t made to last quite that long, and it will, from time to time, need to be replaced. But if you wait too long, you may be in for a bigger repair job than you are asking for. So…to repair or rebuild – that’s the question.

Chimney Damage

As strange as it may seem, one thing that can really cause damage to your chimney is precipitation. Heavy rains can wear away at the mortar that holds the bricks or block together. In an Illinois winter, the freeze/thaw cycle can wreak havoc by causing larger cracks in the mortar as well. As stated by the Chimney Safety Institute of America website, “(M)asonry materials deteriorate quickly when exposed to the freeze/thaw process, in which moisture that has penetrated the materials periodically freezes and expands causing undue stress.”Tuckpoint or Rebuild Image - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney Sweep


Every homeowner knows that it’s very important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned on an annual basis. Your chimney inspector will have kept a close eye on the condition of your mortar. If this is the case, then you can be pretty confident in going with the tuckpointing procedure.

Tuckpointing is the process of taking out the old, crumbling mortar joints and replacing them with fresh mortar. The fresh mortar has to be pressed into the cracks between the bricks. The tools that are used to do this are called points, lending to the term “tuckpointing”.

This may not seem like too complicated of a process. However, the balance.com website is quite clear in stating that this is a job that needs to be left to the professionals.


Perhaps, you neglected to complete this repair job in a timely manner, you may be looking at a bigger repair job. One strong indication that you may need to go the rebuilding route rather than the tuckpointing route is if there are bricks that are actually loose. If this is the case, you’re looking at a rebuild rather than a tuckpointing procedure. This is a more complicated, more costly repair job which involves actually taking down the existing wall and rebuilding it back up.

Signals that Repair is Needed

If you are an observant home owner, it may be apparent by looking at your mortar is in need of repair. If your mortar looks soft and crumbly, it’s a pretty sure bet that some tuckpointing is required. However, it’s a good idea to bring in the experts to determine exactly how much work needs to be done. If you’re looking for expert advice, give Pozzi Chimney Sweep a call. Their technicians are CSIA certified and will be able to give an honest, expert assessment of the repairs that are necessary to get your chimney up and running. Spring is the perfect time to get this assessment done, so you have the summer to make any necessary repairs.