We can build brick chimneys from scratch and are happy to do that but most of the time we aren't called upon to do that since most customers already have chimneys but need them repaired, refurbished, or remodeled. A chimney is a beautiful masonry feature and makes your home stand out but while good brickwork should last a century the mortar binding the bricks will not last anything like as long. Combine that with the fact that chimneys stand proud of the roof which means they are in the line of fire from wind and rain plus the expansion from heating and cooling and your chimney needs regular inspection and periodic work. We're masonry experts with a particular skill when it comes to chimneys so from inspection to repair we are the team to talk to about keeping your chimney in perfect condition.
When the mortar starts to deteriorate on a chimney you essentially have two choices. You can either ignore it and wait for bricks to loosen and the chimney itself to become unstable, or you can call on us to tuckpoint it. Tuckpointing is actually a term for two different things. In some places it means using two colors of mortar with one matching the brick to leave the impression that the joints are very fine indeed. We can do that, but with chimneys the type of tuckpointing normally done is a more structural one. Tuckpointing chimneys means replacing failing mortar by chiseling it out to a set depth. The new mortar is then filled in and may be color matched to the old mortar so that the repair blends in perfectly with the rest of the chimney.
In a properly installed professional chimney there are not one but two types of flashing done. You're probably familiar with flashing as a roofing term for material placed under the shingles to keep water out. That's primary flashing and it is a roofer's job. Then for a chimney there should be a second layer of flashing called counter flashing which overlaps the primary flashing but is then cut into the brickwork itself – which is why it's a masonry job. We install, repair, and replace that counter flashing to keep water out of the joints between your chimney and the roof.
Every chimney needs a cap at the top but in cheaper non pro jobs that is often made out of mortar because it is simple and cheap. Problem is that mortar doesn't last as long as brick and so sooner or later it will need replacing. We can replace those mortar caps with proper brick capping for great, long lasting looks.
Freeze and thaw over the seasons can cause a problem called spalling where rain seeps into old or porous brick, freezes, and then thaws which forces thin layers of brick to separate from the facing. We can replace those bricks with better suited or made bricks that will nonetheless match the masonry style of your building.