Chimney Repair: Signs That You Need a Chimney Sweep

It is important to have your chimney inspected on a regular basis so that small cracks and deterioration do not turn into larger problems. When these problems are left unattended, they can lead to smoke, fumes, and carbon monoxide entering the living space of your home.

Chimney Repair

Minor damage can be repaired with a process called tuckpointing or red rubbing. However, more serious issues may need to be fixed with a flue replacement or rebuild. Visit Website for professional help.

Mortar joints are essential to the structural integrity of brick walls and chimneys. They provide a buffer against the movement of the brick and stresses from elements such as temperature changes. Over time, however, these mortar joints can begin to crack and crumble as they age. The damage is not immediately noticeable, but left unattended, it can cause significant problems with the overall structure. Mortar joint cracks are often caused by moisture, but they can also result from expansion and contraction or minor ground settlement. It’s important to repair these areas quickly to prevent water penetration and further deterioration of the masonry structure.

The first step in repairing a damaged mortar joint is to clean out the old mortar. While wearing protective safety glasses, use a cold chisel and hammer to remove the old mortar from the wall or chimney. Work carefully to avoid damaging the surrounding brickwork or causing other problems. When finished, blow out all dust and debris and dampen all cavity surfaces. Next, mix a batch of latex-fortified mortar, tinting it with pigments as necessary to match the existing color. Apply the new mortar with a pointing trowel. Smooth the mortar as you go, creating a finished edge.

To protect the new mortar from further deterioration, mist it with water several times throughout the day. This helps to keep the mortar moist, which will allow it to cure properly. It is important to use the right type of mortar for your project. Traditional tuckpointing uses lime-based mortar that is similar to the original material used in the brick construction of your home. This is the best option to preserve the historic brick structure and add longevity to its life.

Although tuckpointing can be done as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project, you’ll likely save time and money by hiring a professional. Be sure to hire a reputable, licensed, and insured contractor who has experience working on a variety of different structures. A qualified mason will be able to assess your structure and recommend the right repair method. Be sure to ask for references and a portfolio of past work.

White Stains

White stains are not only unsightly; they are also indicative of serious problems with your chimney structure. Often mistaken as a sign of aging, they actually indicate the presence of water within the brick. Also called efflorescence, the powdery, salt-like deposits are formed when moisture seeps into brick and mortar through tiny fissures or hairline cracks. The water combines with the soluble salts in the bricks and then evaporates, leaving behind those white discolorations that you may notice on your chimney. While they may not be as severe as black stains, white deposits are still an indication that you need to schedule an appointment with your local chimney sweep.

Efflorescence is a natural occurrence that occurs on many types of masonry structures, including concrete blocks, clay tile, and even some basement walls. The process is typically slow and gradual, but as the water penetrates the bricks, it can cause structural damage to the masonry structure. In many cases, a leaking chimney may not be obvious and will go unnoticed for quite some time. Chimney leaks are often caused by the deterioration of the chimney crown or chimney flashing, but they can also be a result of other underlying issues, such as a damaged liner or a cracked, crumbling masonry structure.

Water that infiltrates the masonry of your chimney will eventually find its way into your home through walls, floors, and ceilings, creating rot, mold, and other forms of destruction. It’s important to schedule a professional inspection as soon as you begin to notice masonry damage, such as spalling brick or crumbling mortar joints. Chimney leaks never get better on their own and will only become more severe if left untreated.

If you’re noticing signs of water damage to your chimney, such as white stains or rust, it’s imperative that you call Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace right away to schedule an appointment for a chimney repair service. Moisture can cause major structural damage to traditional masonry chimneys as well as metal factory-built chimneys, and it’s never a good idea to try to address these issues on your own.


Unsightly rust stains are a common chimney issue caused by moisture and failure to stay on top of routine maintenance like annual chimney inspections. While it may be tempting to tackle a chimney repair project yourself, it’s a job that requires the proper tools and equipment to be completed safely. Many homeowners don’t have access to ladders that are tall enough to reach the peak of a chimney, and trying to get to the bottom of a chimney can cause serious injury if you fall. In addition, using power tools to try to remove rust stains can damage the brick and mortar of a chimney, requiring costly repairs later on.

Chimneys rust in the same way as other metals, such as car parts or kitchen appliances. When metal components like the chimney cap, chase cover, and flue liner corrode, they can dislodge bits of soot and other combustion debris from the lining and expose the masonry to water, which causes it to deteriorate. A rusted chimney is also more likely to leak, which can cause a host of problems, from moisture intrusion and mold to structural damage.

Rust can also form on the flashing, which is installed where a chimney meets the roof to prevent water from entering the home. Most flashing is made of copper or PVC, which are rust-resistant, but steel can rust as well. If you see rust stains on the flashing or in the area where it meets the chimney, you should contact a professional chimney contractor to have it replaced.

Another area of a chimney where rust can be dangerous is the chimney crown, which is the masonry that covers the top of a chimney. A chimney with a damaged crown can leak and create a fire hazard inside the fireplace, and it’s an area of the chimney that must be repaired as soon as possible.

While there are DIY chimney repair kits available that can help you fix certain chimney issues, hiring a professional is the best option for homeowners. Professional chimney contractors have the training and equipment to complete a variety of chimney repairs quickly and efficiently, and they’ll be able to identify and address any other problems that may arise during the repair process.


A few hairline cracks in mortar joints don’t necessarily indicate the need to repoint or tuckpoint, but when the mortar begins to crumble and fall out of the cracks, it should be repaired before it contributes to further deterioration of the brick wall or chimney. It is also a good idea to have a sample of the historic mortar analyzed if the building is of particular significance. This will give the repointing contractor a guide for matching the strength of the new mortar mix.