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Brick Repair in West University Place, TX 77005
Tuckpointing: What Is It and Do You Need It for Your West University Place, 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place, TX
West University Place, often called West University or West U for short, is a city located in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land metropolitan area and southwestern Harris County. At the 2010 U.S. census, the population of the city was 14,787. Its population increased to 15,585 in 2019. It is nicknamed ‘The Neighborhood City’ and is mainly a bedroom community for upper-class families.
The city was developed in 1917 by Ben Hooper, a former Tennessee governor. The name ‘West University Place’ originated from its proximity to Rice Institute, now known as Rice University. The first lots in the community were sold in 1917. Portions of West University were previously within the Harris County Poor farm, which extended from an area between Bellaire Boulevard and Bissonnet Street, eastward to an area near the ‘poor farm ditch.’
In the 1920s, Lillian ‘Lilly’ Nicholson, a Rice University English major, lived with a friend whose father was a city planner. The city planner asked Nicholson and her friend to name the streets of West University Place. Nicholson took names from her English literature book and gave them to the streets in West University Place. As a result, many West University streets are named after authors, such as Geoffrey Chaucer, John Dryden, and William Shakespeare. Cydney Mackey, a family friend of Nicholson, said in a Houston Chronicle article, ‘Aunt Lilly had always said she wanted to be an architect, unknown for women in that era, and this was her way of making a small but lasting mark on our city’s landscape.’ One street, Weslayan Road, is a misspelling of ‘Wesleyan.’
The City of West University Place was declared incorporated by the County Judge of Harris County on January 2, 1924. The city incorporated because Houston was reluctant to extend power lines that far from the city center. West University Place, unlike Houston Heights, did not consolidate into the City of Houston. Because of the 1923 incorporation, Houston did not incorporate West University Place’s territory into its city limits, while Houston annexed surrounding areas that were unincorporated. In 1939, the municipality refused to consolidate, later adopting a formal city charter the following year. The city had around 15,000 residents in the 1960s and the 1970s. The city had 12,714 people in 1990.
Directions from West University Place, 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