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Brick Repair in The Woodlands, TX 77375
Tuckpointing: What Is It and Do You Need It for Your The Woodlands, TX Brick Chimney?
When the residents of Harris County are in need of tuckpointing services, Masters Services is the first company they call. We’re a full-service, locally owned and operated The Woodlands, TX brick repair company, and our team of professionally trained, fully licensed and insured technicians have more than 18 years of experience repairing and restoring brick chimneys throughout Texas. Our entire team is committed to meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of the clients we work with. Whether your brick chimney is just starting to look worse for the wear or it’s severely damaged, with tuckpointing services from Masters Services, you can rest assured that you’ll receive outstanding results.
An Overview of The Woodlands, TX Tuckpointing Services
A fireplace and the brick chimney that accompanies it are assets to your home. There’s nothing better than curling up in front of a roaring fire and a good book on a chilly night, or gathering with loved ones around a Yule log. The brick chimney that accompanies the fireplace adds to its beauty and serves as a focal point of your Harris County home. Of course, in order for the fireplace to continue being an asset, it needs to function safely, and that means that the chimney needs to be in tip-top condition and properly maintained. At one point or another, it’s almost certain that you’re going to need to have your chimney tuck pointed.
What is tuckpointing? What are the benefits of tuckpointing? How do you know when you should contact a The Woodlands, TX brick repair company to schedule this important service? To learn the answers to these questions, keep on reading.
What is Tuckpointing?
In order to understand what tuckpointing is, you first need to understand what mortar is. Mortar is the cement-like material that runs between the bricks of your Harris County chimney. It’s literally the glue that holds the structure together. It also seals up the holes between the bricks, and adds a layer of waterproofing and fireproofing to a chimney.
While it’s very durable, mortar isn’t infallible. The rigidity of the material lends itself well to securing the structural stability of a chimney; however, it doesn’t absorb movement, but it does absorb moisture. Your Harris County house is always moving with the wind and the ground, and due to humidity and rain, it’s constantly exposed to moisture. These factors, combined with exposure to the intense heat, soot, and smoke that fire produces, means that the mortar is under a lot of stress and strain, and eventually, it’s pretty much guaranteed to deteriorate. That’s where tuckpointing comes in.
Tuckpointing (also known as repointing) is a form of masonry repair. It involves removing damaged mortar, cleaning out the joints, and replacing it with fresh mortar. During the process, a The Woodlands, TX brick repair professional will also repair any loose or damaged bricks in your fireplace, and revitalize the color of the brick and mortar.
Signs You Need Tuckpointing Services
While the length of time mortar retains its durability varies and depends on several factors (the climate, how frequently you use your fireplace, and how well the mortar was initially installed, for example), on average, tuckpointing should be done every 20 to 30 years. If you’ve just moved into your Harris County house or you’ve lived in it for years and you’ve never had the service done before, you should consider having your chimney inspected by a The Woodlands, TX brick repair specialist to determine if it needs to be tuck pointed, or to find out when you may need to have the service performed in the future.
Even without having a professional inspection performed, your brick chimney will display some pretty clear signs when it needs to be repointed. Here’s a look at some of the most common signs that the mortar joints in your Harris County chimney are starting to deteriorate:
- Discoloration. When mortar is in good condition, it’s a bright beige color. As it starts to deteriorate, however, the color changes; it can become brownish, grayish, greenish, or even black. If the mortar holding the bricks in your chimney together is discolored, you’ll definitely want to consider scheduling an appointment with a The Woodlands, TX brick repair professional to discuss tuckpointing.
- Damaged mortar joints. If the mortar joints are cracked or crumbling, or if chunks are missing, those are telltale signs of a problem. The material is severely deteriorated, which means that your chimney – and the walls that surround it – could be exposed to water damage, or the entire structure could possibly collapse. Don’t run the risk of these serious, more costly damages; at the first sign of damaged mortar joints, schedule an appointment for repointing right away.
- Flaking and peeling. Like the bricks themselves, mortar can flake and peel. This is a phenomenon known as “spalling”, and it occurs when moisture gets trapped in the material. Mortar is porous, which means that it can easily absorb moisture. When the temperature dips, the water can freeze and expand, pushing small bits of mortar out of its way as it does, and leaving cracks behind. When the temperature rises, the water will melt, and it will pour out of the mortar. The process is repeated over and over again, and eventually, the mortar will start to peel and flake. As soon as you suspect the mortar joints are spalling, you should definitely make arrangements to have your chimney repointed.
- Rust. Believe it or note, rust may be a sign that a brick chimney needs to be tuck pointed. If the mortar is cracking and crumbling, moisture will seep through your chimney, and eventually, the metal components of your fireplace will start to rust. If you see rust spots in your firebox or if the damper is difficult to operate, that may be a sign that tuckpointing is needed.
What Are the Benefits of Tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing offers several benefits. Here’s a look at just a few:
- Water damage prevention. When the mortar deteriorates, moisture will travel into the brickwork, and eventually, it will travel into materials in the walls of your Harris County home, such as the wood, drywall, and even the insulation. By having the damaged mortar removed and replaced, you can stop water damage dead in its tracks.
- Improved structural stability. A chimney needs to be structurally sound, and since the mortar holds the brickwork together, it has to be in good condition. When the mortar starts to deteriorate, the integrity of the entire structure will be compromised. Eventually, the chimney could shift, or in the worst-case scenario, it could collapse. Tuckpointing will ensure that your Harris County chimney remains stable, secure, and safe.
- Enhanced aesthetic appeal. As mortar starts to discolor, crack, crumble, and break down, it will detract from the aesthetic appeal of the structure – and your entire home. By having a The Woodlands, TX brick repair specialist tuckpoint your mortar, the curb appeal of your home will be restored.
Call Masters Services for Your Harris County Tuckpointing Needs
It’s easy to see why tuckpointing is such an important part of routine brick fireplace maintenance. Whether you’re sure that your chimney needs to be repointed or you want to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation, contact the most trusted The Woodlands, TX brick repair contractor: Masters Services. Our team of fully licensed and insured technicians are experts in tuckpointing and with more than 18 years of experience and a proven track record of success, when we’re on the job, you can have confidence knowing that you’ll receive exceptional results. To learn more about our services, submit a contact form right through our website, or dial 972-877-4650. However you get in touch with us, one of our friendly professionals will be more than happy to assist you with all of your needs.
Some information about The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands is a master planned community and census-designated place (CDP) in the U.S. state of Texas in the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan statistical area. The Woodlands is primarily located in Montgomery County, with portions extending into Harris County. In 2021, The Howard Hughes Corporation estimated the population of The Woodlands was 119,000. At the 2010 U.S. census, its population was 93,847, up from 55,649 at the 2000 U.S. census.
The Woodlands was conceived after the oil industry investor George P. Mitchell attended a symposium by the Rouse Company subsidiary American City Corporation and developer of Columbia, Maryland on how to develop new towns using the HUD Title VII program. It was dedicated by George P. Mitchell in 1974 and managed by The Woodlands Corporation as an extension of Mitchell Energy & Development. Mitchell, an oil businessman, planned to establish a conference center, hotels, office parks, retail malls, schools, large distribution centers, and golf courses. Houses would range from moderately priced to expensive and large. Bill Schadewald of the Houston Business Journal said that Mitchell wanted the development to ‘entice city slickers looking for far-flung suburban quality of life’. Schadewald said that local sources stated that the HUD New Town program, a federally funded program, had a ‘low survival rate’ and questioned whether The Woodlands would succeed.
The Woodlands Corporation was acquired on July 31, 1997, by a partnership between Morgan Stanley and Crescent Real Estate Equities. In December 2003, Rouse Company acquired Crescent’s interest, and Rouse was bought by General Growth Properties on November 12, 2004. In 2011, The Woodlands was sold to the Howard Hughes Development Corporation.
The land was previously occupied by the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Mill, hence Grogan’s Mill and Cochran’s Crossing neighborhoods, called ‘villages’. The original planning utilized many of the planning concepts and design consultants employed in other well-regarded new communities of that era such as Columbia, Maryland, Irvine Ranch, California and Reston, Virginia. The original development plan included environmental design principles espoused by Ian McHarg, a distinguished landscape architect, teacher and author of the seminal work Design With Nature.
Directions from The Woodlands, TX to Masters Services
Here are some masonry-related links:
- The International Masonry Institute
- Mason Contractors Association of America
- The Masonry Institute
- The Masonry Society
- National Concrete Masonry Association