When mortar joints have cracked, flaked or disintegrated due to the abrasive effects of the elements, tuckpointing is mandatory. If the damage is not repaired in a timely manner, precipitation may penetrate the affected areas. Over time, this deterioration will lead to a far more expensive restoration. Although the right material and technique are enough to deliver a watertight job, Chimney Top Masonry believes appearance is also a top priority. Our skilled crews carefully select the proper mortar mix and tools to compliment your existing mortar color and profile.
At Work is a condensed version of the tuckpointing process with a tooled joint. The first step is to prepare the mortar joint by grinding it out to a minimum depth of 3/4″ or until sound mortar is reached. Chimney Top Masonry uses an Arbortech saw, which allows for us to plunge cut without overcutting and is virtually dust free. It ideal for tuckpointing, brick removal, restoration, renovation, brick and block cutting, expansion joints, electrical outlets and more! Once the joint is ground out, it is tuck-pointed with new mortar in a color to match the existing as close as possible.
The firebox of your fireplace takes a lot of heat and abuse. If any of the bricks are loose or if any of the mortar joints are eroded back more than 1/2 inch, it may be time for a repair. Sometimes the firebox becomes weakened with age and use or could be damaged as the result of a chimney fire. Our masonry experts can do a full or partial rebuild of the firebox so it looks and performs like new.
Chimneys are usually the first part of a masonry building to manifest signs of deterioration. This is mostly due to the fact that chimneys are constantly bombarded by the elements. Resting above the roofline virtually defenseless, chimneys do not have any roof or gutter system to divert water away from them as on the main part of your brick building.
A simple hairline crack in your chimney capstone, if neglected, can cause serious damage. Water penetration through a failed cap can cause the top courses of your chimney to disintegrate to the point where masonry repair is mandatory. When the majority of the brick on a chimney is spalling, flaking, cracking, displacing or even missing, it is time to rebuild it with new masonry units.
CRACKED OR CRUMBLING CROWNS
The chimney crown is the cement slab that tops off the bricks on your chimney. With age and weather exposure this crown can crack. If the cracks are not sealed, water penetrates the crown causing moisture damage to the crown itself and the bricks below. Left unrepaired, the result of the moisture damage will be spalling bricks and eventually the crown will crumble.
Spalling bricks are the result of deterioration of the brick surface that is caused by moisture. This can occur on the inside or the outside of your chimney. If unrepaired, pieces of the brick facing can pop off and cause more damage to the chimney.
Penetrating moisture not only weakens the mortar that bonds the masonry units together, it also promotes premature deterioration of brick. If moisture finds its way into a defect on the brick and freezes, it will cause the brick to spall, deflect or displace. Once this happens, the brick is rendered useless as it offers no structural support to the masonry wall. Removing defective brick will prevent water damage from spreading to the remaining healthy and sound brick. Chimney Top Masonry works with a variety of brick suppliers to insure the closest match to your existing brick when masonry repair is required.
Chimney Top Masonry Services Include:
Limestone, Renaissance Stone, Sandstone, Terra Cotta are all different types of stone facades that Chimney Top Masonry repairs. Stone is particularly porous and needs special attention to keep it looking appealing. Most of the time the stone in question becomes discolored or dislodged and Chimney Top Masonry is contacted to clean, patch, reset, or replace it. Another common culprit that erodes stone surfaces is deicing salts. The salts etch the surface of the stone and slowly wear down its integrity. After the stone façade is properly repaired, waterproofing is highly recommended to stop the intrusion of water and chemicals.
Chimney Top Masonry Stone Restoration Services Include:
Lintels: concrete, limestone and angle irons are all used to bridge openings within masonry walls. They are imperative in carrying the cumulative load of multi-floor heights of masonry.
If these crucial steel members corrode and bow the structural stability of the masonry wall becomes questionable. Faulty lintels will cause the masonry shores to sag, skew or worst case, fall off. For this reason, it is vital that lintels be replaced if found defective.
In addition, all openings should have a proper flashing system installed to divert water out and away from the interior of the opening. Flashing with drip wicks are necessary components to keep steel lintels from corroding.
Do you have water leaks that have penetrated through or behind your brick, block or stone walls promoting the growth of toxic mold? Are you starting to notice water damage bleed through the drywall near-by or around the fireplace? Uncertain where the leak coming from? Do you have gaps in your insulation resulting in cold drafts and high utility bills? If you've answered yes to any or all of these questions, Chimney Top Masonry can help!!
Chimney Top Masonry Leak Detection Services Include:
Using the Rilem Tube test, Chimney Top Masonry will locate the most probable sources of the leak and identify any damaged components on the exterior of your masonry building. Our leak detection services are for above grade vertical masonry facades exclusively brick, block and stone. Our crews specialize in masonry restoration techniques including tuckpointing, caulking and waterproofing.
Caulking is one of Chimney Top Masonry's value added services as it uses the rigging already in place for our core tuckpointing and masonry restoration procedures. It is also another preventative maintenance device for thwarting leaks. An open caulk joint can cause the same amount of damage as a void within a mortar joint can, by allowing unwelcome water into your buildings.
Chimney Top Masonry implements a variety of sealant products depending on job specifications. Polyurethane, silicone, and butyl rubber caulk are commonly used to form a watertight seal to all types of perimeter, control and expansion joints.
Waterproofing is a common preventative maintenance service that can minimize your masonry exposure to water damage. Just as tuckpointing will safeguard your mortar, waterproofing will shield your masonry from wind driven and saturating rains.
Likely candidates for waterproofing include smooth/splitface concrete block, limestone, renaissance stone, brick veneer walls, and sandblasted/waterblasted common brick as they are all particularly porous. Chimney Top Masonry also recommends sealing all types of masonry after any sort of rebuilding process is completed in order to sustain the new masonry work.
A standard Rilem Tube test is used by Chimney Top Masonry to determine water intrusion resistance and deflection. Once the saturation level is known, Chimney Top Masonry can predict which type of waterproofing material would be most effective on the masonry facade in question. Chimney Top Masonry utilizes two types of waterproofing agents: siloxane clearcoat and elastomeric colorcoat. Both products bond chemically to the substrate of the brick, block or stone and allow them to breathe.
Siloxane agents are rolled or sprayed onto the masonry and do not change the appearance of the façade at all. Typically, clearcoat agents are applied to brick and stone surfaces. Elastomeric sealants are decorative coatings that are hand brushed on to the masonry and come in a variety of colors. Due to the porosity of concrete block, the elastomeric sealants are the best option for splitface and smooth block surfaces.
Water can penetrate straight through the block allowing moisture/condensation to form on the interior of the block, in between the studs, insulation and drywall. If not addressed, mold and other toxic spores can form between your walls creating a health risk to you and your family. Once the elastomeric paint is applied, it locks out moisture and prevents drafts. Chimney Top Masonry waterproofing applications are for above grade vertical surfaces exclusively. Waterproofing agents do require re-applications every so often as the products breakdown over time. Maintenance cycles of 3-5 years are recommended.
To combat these complaints Chimney Top Masonry has devised a preventative maintenance program addressing each new construction problem and its solution.
In addition to tuckpointing, masonry repair and new masonry, Chimney Top Masonry also provides cleaning services for brick. Chemical Cleaning is a relatively safe and cost effective method of furnishing your masonry building with a fresh new look.