Chimney Repair ?'s

nor_easterNovember 15, 2005

What type of cement should I use for repointing a chimney? Also, should I seal the chimney with something prior to repointing or after? Finally should I chip out some of the old cement prior to repointing like you would before regrouting between tiles? Thanks for any help you folks can provide.


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Cheers to you friend,

I have the exact same thing to do as you do and my masonry friend tells me you need regular brick mortar that you can get at any hardware or Home Depot. Yes you should chip away any loose crumbling mortar. I plan on using an angle grinder to remove the loose stuff but you can do it with a hammer and chisel also. You don't need to seal the chimney with any type of sealer. The most important thing is getting the new mortar mixed to the correct consistancy. Be sure to read the mixing instructions carefully and you should be fine. Some poeple like to use a special tuckpointing tool to get a smooth edge but you can get the same results just using your finger. Here's a page that helps to clear some things up. Be careful and take your time and you'll do fine.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 3:08PM
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Using your finger to tool a mortar joint has two negative issues-- Cement is caustic and can irritate your skin, causing rashes. And the natural grittiness of cement will wear off a layer of skin and put a blister on your finger very quickly. Better to spend a couple bucks on a pointing tool, cut a length of 3/4" wood dowel or 'liberate' a few inches off of the end of a broomstick! You'll get a more consistent mortar joint and save a lot of wear and tear on your hand.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 9:21AM
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I am a home inspector and a brick mason by trade. If you do not repair the chimny, water will get into your roof and rot the wood. That can be costly. Sackcret makes a good mortar mix for about $8. a #40 bag. A piece of small dia pipe works good to smooth the joints

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 9:21AM
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There's another job on my list

75 yo home w/fieldstone chimney - which comes through a flat roof - Not sure if leaking is where roof meets house or mortar failure in chimney - I do know the slate roof cap needs repointing that is really coming in through the chimney to fireplace, right through to basement ....But I see back of chimney which is sunroom - has wet spots, on new paint ....

I can get to roof, and part of chimney but I can't get to the top - I'll need a mason to repoint top or get one large piece of slate which may be difficult - I just don't like the metal caps - detracts from curb appeal imo

any advice on my investigating and repair is welcome

sorry for the hijack....

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 10:38AM
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Hello everyone,

I need an opinion from an expert chimney man on some chimney work proposals. My house was built in the mid 50s and I have been here since 1971. I have never had any work done on the chimney. I noticed brick and mortar falling on the porch and in the yard and I finally figured it was coming from the chimney. I also get water inside the house where the chimney is located.

Proposal # 1

1. Erect scaffolding to chimney top height.

2. Protect roofs (mine and the neighbors) around chimney with plywood and tarps.

3. Build a work platform on roof sides of chimney.

4. Remove crown and four courses of brick work from chimney top.

5. Reset two courses.

6. Drill out twelve damaged bricks from chimney sides.

7. Replace # 5 above with bricks from # 4 above.

8. Remove top section of flue liner from chimney top and install new section.

9. Form and pour a 2-tier, fiber reinforced concrete crown on chimney overhanging the sides by 1-1/2".

10. Finish crown to simulate brickwork (a 100% color and texture match is not guaranteed).

11. Cut and re-point all mortar joints on chimney sides down to counter flashing of roof.

12. Acid wash all new mortar work to remove anew mortar and dust stains.

13. Furnish and install a stainless steel cap on top of flue.

14. Clean up and remove rubble from site.

This was an older man who did not come inside the house. He did his inspection with a pair of high powered binoculars from the outside of the house. He said he did not want to get up on a ladder for fear of falling. I am sure he has help for that part of the job. He said he has been in the business for thirty years. He also took pictures.

His proposal is $5,735.00

Proposal #2

These last two proposals are not as detailed as #1 is.

System Information:

Construction-Masonry-8 brick around
Fireplace opening sizes 4"X9"


Rebuild chimney approx 19 courses
Build new concrete crown & 9X4 stainless steel rain animal guard
Install 6 inch round stainless steel mflax lining system approx 30 feet in length-Direct connect to 3 inch W.M. 6" furnace

This main had 2 other men with him who did a roof and furnace inspection.

His proposal is:
Total rebuild $1,316.00
Stainless steel liner $1,480.00

Proposal #3

Condition report

1. Height 40-satisfactory
2. Chimney cap/spark arrestor-Not applicable
3. Crown/Wash-Unsatisfactory
4. Brickwork/Mortar-Unsatisfactory
5. Flashing-Unsatisfactory
6. Flue Liner-Unsatisfactory
7. Moisture resistance-Unsatisfactory

6" Boiler-3"H.W.H
At top of chimney the crown is missing and the flashing needs resealed.
Looking down the chimney flue, the flue tile are flaking and falling apart.
Needs liner/crown/flashing resealed
Unsafe to use

Of course this man and and his crew came in the house and went on the roof for inspection. He also took pictures.

His proposal is $1,800.94 for the crown, flashing, liner and the permit.

$528.66 for the brick and mortar work to be done at a later date (I think he wants to get the most important work done now)

Is there anything that proposal number one will do that number 2 and 3 are not doing (in other words, am I getting more from #1 than the other two). I am assuming that the other 2 will clean up the debris and clean the bricks when they are finished.

Thank you very much for any responses.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 10:35PM
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#1 seems to be doing less work than the other two, no chimney liner.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 9:07AM
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# 8 (Remove top section of flue liner from chimney top and install new section). on #1 list. Is that installing part of a chimney liner?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 12:23PM
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What I feel is the chimney should be covered with many inner coatings so as to avoid many further problems like cracks and absorption of water. I got some info on chimney repairs Its better to read the details b4 u go ahead.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:25PM
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Is there a material like fake rocks that can be used to cover my cinder block chimney?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 5:21PM
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