Hire Us For Masonry Repairs
In The San Antonio Area
What do you think of when you think of a masonry structure? Durability? Sturdiness? Strength? Brickwork is well known for being one of the most reliable building materials out there, which is why it’s such a popular choice for chimneys. That said, while all of these things reign true, it’s important to remember that masonry isn’t indestructible, and it needs maintenance and TLC to really stand the test of time.
Because of this, regular care from a qualified chimney sweep is a must – as are swift repair services when needed. Here at Wolfman Chimney & Fireplace, we can help with all of your home, masonry, and fireplace repair needs, as well as any other chimney repair services you might be requiring. Make us your trusted team of experts for it all.
Masonry Repair Services We Offer
There’s a lot we can do to keep your home and chimney in top condition, looking good and standing strong for the long haul. Count on us for:
- Tuckpointing and repointing services: We can remove old mortar joints and fill them in with strong, newer, and more reliable materials.
- Chimney crown repairs: Crown repairs might be needed if your system wasn’t built reliably to begin with. Whatever the issue is for you, we’ll get to the bottom of it.
- Masonry waterproofing: Bricks are porous and, therefore, need to be protected with a quality sealant. Cue our waterproofing services.
- Brick replacement services: If bricks are missing or damaged, we can replace them with pieces that match in color, size, and composition.
- New construction services: Need something built from the ground up? We’ve got you covered.
- Chimney rebuilds and remodels: A rebuild or remodel can be done, but keeping the customer’s vision in mind throughout the process is a must – count on us to get it right.
- Firebox rebuilds and repairs: The place where your fires are lit shouldn’t be damaged and crumbling. Don’t neglect repairs if your firebox is falling apart.
- Home wall repairs: Are the walls of your property seemingly crumbling before your very eyes? Don’t fret – invest in care with us.
- Brick step repairs: Do you have brick steps that are crooked, falling apart, and in need of some professional care? Let us help.
- …and more!
Questions about anything we offer? Looking to schedule your annual chimney cleaning or inspection? Please reach out. We’d be happy to address any and all of your concerns and inquiries, then set you up right with the best solutions possible.
What Causes Chimney Masonry Damage?
Now, the first step in knowing how to fight against masonry damage is knowing what caused it to occur in the first place. So, what are some of the main causes of masonry decay and deterioration?
- Moisture: Water is probably the most damaging element your masonry can come into contact with. Brickwork is naturally porous, which means it will soak in any water it’s exposed to. This eventually causes it to start breaking down from the inside out, making it become brittle and more prone to crumble and crack.
- Fire: It may seem odd to say that fire is something that breaks down a masonry chimney… After all, aren’t they built to withstand just that? Well, while your brick can stand strong against some pretty high temps, direct contact with flames is a no-go. Should something like a chimney fire occur, your system will face extensive damage.
- Human Error: If you hired a company in the past that wasn’t well-versed in chimney care or didn’t have the credentials to back up their services, it could be that they didn’t do as good of a job on your chimney repairs and maintenance as they led on.
- Neglect: Has it been over a year since your last chimney inspection? Are you putting off much-needed repairs? Lack of proper maintenance is another big cause for masonry deterioration. And the longer issues go unaddressed, the harder, more time-consuming, and more costly they’ll be to address down the line.
- Bad Weather: Rain and moisture definitely play a role in breaking down chimney masonry, but wind storms, big shifts in temperature, and other weather events can cause some major issues, including masonry decay and destruction.
- Lack of Proper Components: Your chimney is made up of various parts, and if they’re not all working well, you’re going to face issues. If you don’t have a well-built crown, a properly installed chimney cap, some well-fitted flashing, or are missing any other important chimney components, you better call us in.
- No Chimney Liner: Is your chimney liner missing or damaged? The fumes your fireplace produces are naturally acidic, so they’re sure to break down your masonry if a well-fitted liner isn’t in place. We can ensure a quality one is installed and sized appropriately, so you can stress less.
Whatever it is causing your bricks to fall out, your mortar to crumble, and your structure to become unstable, rest assured, our technicians are the best chimney sweeps in the area. They’ll be able to not only diagnose your issue, but help repair it to its former strength.
What Is Tuckpointing?
If your mortar joints are crumbling and falling out, your structure will weaken significantly. In the case of your chimney, it won’t be long before the bricks start cracking and falling out, and before you know it your chimney won’t function nearly as efficiently – or as safely – as it should. Because of this, prompt repair services are in order.
But what is the best service to combat mortar deterioration? Professional tuckpointing.
Tuckpointing, or repointing as it’s often called, is a method for restoring your chimney’s mortar by removing the old, crumbling pieces and filling in the gaps with new mortar. This both improves the appearance of your system and boosts its overall structural integrity, minimizing your risk of further damages down the line.
Tuckpointing originated back in the 1700s and was originally completed as more of a cosmetic service to help homes imitate a popular style of that time – without all of the cost normally involved. But now it’s a standard practice, necessary for keeping your system in good health for years to come.
How does tuckpointing work?
So, how does the tuckpointing process actually work?
1. The first step is to assess your home or chimney’s needs. Our experts will determine where your system stands and the best plan for moving forward based on the extent of your damage.
2. After this, we’ll remove all of your old, crumbling mortar joints. These are serving no purpose anymore, and keeping any of the loose mortar lodged inside the masonry structure will only weaken it.
3. Next, we’ll clean out the joints and wash out any remaining or loosened debris.
4. Finally, comes the exciting part – adding in the new mortar. We’ll carefully craft new mortar that matches your old both in color and composition, so you’re left with smooth, seamless, and reliable results.
Can I complete tuckpointing services myself?
This is something we strongly recommend against. Matching new mortar to the old may not seem like such a complicated process, but it’s a lot more time-consuming and intricate than most assume. Many times, the mortar we’re trying to match is decades old, so finding a mix that lines up perfectly, both in look and texture, can be a challenge.
Doing this yourself, without the proper tools and expertise, can lead to some poor results, making your home look unpolished and sloppy. On top of this, if the job wasn’t done just right, your brickwork will be much more prone to break down and crumble down the line – meaning you just put in a lot of sweat and elbow grease for nothing.
Tuckpointing techniques, color matching, and proper curing/drying times is something we are all well-versed and trained on here at Wolfman Chimney & Fireplace. That’s why homeowners in San Antonio, Boerne, New Braunfels, Seguin, Canyon Lake, and more turn to us time and time again.
How long do tuckpointing services last?
While bricks are known to last well over 100 years when properly cared for (quite literally a lifetime), the same doesn’t go for the mortar joints that hold them together. That said, a well-done tuckpointing job can last anywhere from two to three decades, so once it’s complete, it’s not a service you’ll have to concern yourself with again any time soon.
Why Is Masonry Waterproofing Important?
Chimney and home waterproofing is what protects your brickwork from harmful moisture that’s trying to infiltrate its strong and sturdy exterior. Waterproofing ensures water simply beads up and rolls off, rather than soaks into the masonry and starts wreaking havoc.
Do I need to waterproof my home and chimney masonry if it isn’t damaged?
Definitely! In fact, this is even more of a reason to book waterproofing services right away – to keep your home and chimney looking great and standing strong.
Not to mention, just because it doesn’t look like your brickwork is damaged doesn’t mean that water isn’t starting to break things down. Moisture can be slow-moving and sneaky, which is why your property can go from looking just fine one day to suddenly having a big crack in it the next.
Can I waterproof my masonry myself?
Waterproofing may seem like a simple enough process… just spray the products on your brickwork and enjoy long-lasting protection… right?
Eh, it’s not quite so simple. In fact, ensuring you get full coverage and that all areas have been hit can be more challenging than you’d think. A chimney professional knows exactly how to tackle this job, so it’s done thoroughly and exhaustively.
And trust us… this isn’t a service where corners can get cut and things will be just fine. If even a small area of your masonry is left exposed, the water will enter there, then spread to the rest of the system – meaning any work you put into the process (and any expense you put in as well) will be wasted.
Another important thing to consider is the products being used. Many products that are easily accessible in stores or online aren’t as high-quality as the products we have access to as chimney professionals. Along with this, it’s imperative that the solutions used are vapor permeable, as your brickwork needs to breathe – which doesn’t hold true for everything you can buy in-store.
Why is brick vapor permeability important?
Vapor permeability in your waterproofing products is vital because otherwise all of the moisture that’s already inside of the bricks won’t be able to eventually evaporate out. Rather, it’ll get trapped inside where it continues breaking things down and causing damage to your system.
How long does waterproofing last?
The majority of professional chimney waterproofing products come with a 10-year warranty if applied by a certified sweep. So, you should be able to count on a solid decade of protection from water and moisture once your tech is done with the job.
Just be sure to stay on top of it, ensuring that this service gets done again down the line when needed.
What Comes First – Masonry Repairs or Waterproofing?
So, both repairing your masonry promptly and investing in waterproofing services are important for keeping your home and masonry chimney in tip-top shape. But which should come first?
If you have damages to your home or chimney, have these addressed before any waterproofing products are applied. That way, we’ll know for sure that your brickwork will be all set and good to go – all that will be left to do is add that last layer of protection.
If these services are reversed, we may need to go back in later to reapply waterproofing products to the newly applied materials.
What Are Signs of Masonry Damage Throughout My Home & Chimney?
Sometimes signs of masonry damage throughout your home’s exterior are obvious – there will be a big crack or gap that clearly needs some attention. But we’d like to ensure you spot early signs of damage, so you never have to get to that point at all. Keep an eye for these smaller and less obvious issues that indicate some repair work is in order.
- Small Cracks or Imperfections: Cracks can vary in size and type (horizontal, vertical, stair-step, etc.), so don’t just look for something obvious. Sometimes they’re small, hidden away, or even somewhat disguised.
- Leaning or Tilting: It would seem that if your structure was leaning or tilting you would definitely know about it. But sometimes subtle changes aren’t obvious until things are really crooked. Keep an eye for small changes, so they can be addressed before things escalate out of control.
- Spalling: Is the surface of your brickwork chipping or flaking? Again, these can often be subtle at first until the damage spreads out wider and becomes obvious. Always take a close look at your home and chimney, so you know how things are faring.
- Discoloration: Stains, discoloration, or efflorescence (white powdery deposits) on the masonry surface of your structure can indicate moisture-related problems, salt deposits, or general deterioration.
- Crumbling Mortar: Your mortar joints should be smooth and seamless – not falling out and crumbling. This is more than just a cosmetic issue… it can weaken your entire structure significantly, so call us in for tuckpointing services as soon as you can.
- Sagging Lintels: Linels are the horizontal supporting beams above your windows, garage door openings, and door frames. And if they’re sagging, you’ll have issues opening/closing doors/windows and a lot more damage to come. Our services can help.
- Chimney Issues: All home masonry should be watched closely, but pay particular attention to your chimney. It may be more obvious than a big masonry wall if it is leaning or crumbling – and if it is, then the rest of your home’s brickwork may need some care too.
- Uneven/Sloping Floors: In some cases, masonry damage or foundation problems can cause floors to become uneven or slope noticeably. Take note if you notice this issue, and see if your masonry is to blame.
Have you spotted areas of concern? Our team is standing by and ready to help you out. We can assess your specific needs and create a solid plan for moving forward. Don’t wait – call or reach out to us online now.
Why Are Firebox Repairs Important?
Your firebox is the area that hosts your fires, meaning it has a big job to do… and it takes on a lot of heat while doing it. Because of this, it’s bound to face some wear and tear over the years. And since this is where your flames are shining, investing in firebox repair services promptly is a must for keeping the rest of home safer.
Trust our experts – no matter your system or fuel type, we can restore your firebox to its former glory.
Is Using a Damaged Masonry Chimney Dangerous?
So, let’s say you spot cracking, gaps, crumbling mortar, and more throughout your chimney. Can you still put it to use until repairs can be done? I mean, if most of it is still standing strong, you should be fine, right?
Definitely not. Using a chimney that’s damaged can invite numerous hazards into your home by increasing your risk of experiencing a fire (whether it’s a chimney fire or house fire), encouraging more buildup to occur, and upping the chance of carbon monoxide, smoke, and other harmful fumes leaking into your living space.
We know relaxing in front of a cozy fire is an ideal setup, but in this case, you’ll be much better off waiting for a professional to look things over and address any issues before you get those flames going.
And even if you light a fire and those threats don’t occur, your system will still likely face even more damage by operating when all parts aren’t up to code. Long story short – it’s not a good idea, and it’s definitely not worth the risk. Call us out first, so you can rest easier during your entire burning season.
How Much Will Home & Chimney Masonry Repairs Cost Me?
It’s a common question, and it’s one we don’t have an easy answer to. Masonry repair services cover a wide range of services, and different repairs are needed for different types of damage, so this isn’t a question we can offer a quick response to (unfortunately).
For instance, if your mortar joints are crumbling, you’ll likely need tuckpointing services. This is usually an affordable investment, but how much you wind up paying will depend on how extensive the damage is.
Another example? Tuckpointing and brick replacement services are obviously going to be more manageable than an entire chimney rebuild. And, while both of these fall into the “masonry repairs” category, their price points vary pretty drastically.
Here’s what we suggest doing – give us a call and tell us what you need. From there, we should be able to at least provide an estimate for what you might expect in terms of costs and necessary repairs. That said, we won’t know for sure until we actually come out and look your home over.
Get something scheduled by calling or reaching out through our site today. We’d be happy to help you.
Our Sweeps Are Certified, Experienced & Ready to Serve You Soon
Do you own a home or business in or somewhere close to San Marcos, Kyle, Austin, Schertz, Spring Branch, Helotes, or somewhere else in the areas surrounding? Rely on us techs. Our repair services are comprehensive, our customer service is impeccable, and we never fail to take the needs, safety, and budget of our clients into consideration with every job we take on.
We’d love to be there for you every step of the way. Give us a call at 830-620-9130 or reach out online now. Thanks for making us your trusted team for it all.