How Much Does Chimney Tuck-Pointing Cost?
It may be time to give your chimney a much needed facelift. While bricks have a life expectancy of about 100 years, and stones can last even longer, the cement and other material (mortar) that holds the layers together deteriorates over time. Also, environmental conditions or previous structural damage like from a fire or flood can speed up the decaying process. So, if you have a masonry home or chimney odds are that it will need to have tuck-pointing at some point; especially if it is more than 20 years old.
How to tell if your chimney needs tuck pointing
Determining whether or not your chimney needs tuck-pointing is not that difficult. A healthy chimney has smooth, even layers of masonry and mortar from top to bottom, inside and out. When you begin to spot uneven layers between the bricks or notice the formation of pockets or crevices in the masonry or mortar is a sign that your chimney most likely needs tuck-pointing. This may be more noticeable when the home settles and cracks in the foundation begin to appear.
Also, any type of water leak or seepage inside the chimney walls needs immediate attention to protect the integrity of the structure. Even though it may not seem like an urgent matter, chimney structural problems will only get worse over time. The longer you wait to address the issue, the more costly the repairs will be in the long run. And the cost of tuck-pointing is a lot less than the cost of a complete chimney rebuild.
What determines the cost?
Essentially, the cost of chimney tuck-pointing is based on the amount of time and materials that will be needed to complete the project. First, a chimney specialist will perform a thorough visual inspection of the entire chimney, layer by layer, looking for signs of decay and other abnormalities. After the inspection is complete, the specialist will provide you with a complete structural report and written cost estimate. Our estimate will indicate the total amount of labor along with the cost of the materials that will be required to complete the job based on the condition of your chimney. As you can probably imagine, tuck-pointing is a tedious and time consuming process.
Approximately 80 percent of the cost can be attributed to labor alone. This is because most of the time is spent removing the decayed mortar, repairing cracked or chipped masonry and carefully filling the mortar joints with new material. It’s like assembling a puzzle. But when it comes to preventing a structural collapse of your chimney, this is not the type of work you want to cut corners with or be rushed. The good news is that when the tuckpointing is complete your chimney will look like new again. A quality chimney tuck-pointing job should last about 10 years or more, depending on environmental conditions.