Total Chimney Care's Blog

We specialize in masonry repairs

How is your chimney masonry looking after the long and cold winter? The exterior of your chimney masonry endures all the moisture and freezing temperatures during the winter that cause masonry to crack and crumble. The interior of your chimney and fireplace masonry also bears the extreme heat and byproducts of your hearth. Because of that, many homeowners find their fireplaces and chimneys in need of masonry repair in the spring. Fortunately, Total Chimney Care specializes in the chimney and fireplace masonry repairs!

Chimney crown repair

Chimney crowns is the masonry component that surrounds the top opening of your chimney flue. They often need repairs in the spring, since they endure all the weathering through the winter. Many chimney crowns might be improperly constructed from inadequate masonry materials from the start. When they are exposed to moisture and freezing temperatures in the winter, they form cracks or begin to crumble. If your chimney crown is in need of repair this spring, Total Chimney Care can repair or reconstruct your chimney crown.


Tuckpointing is one of the most common types of chimney masonry repair. While bricks and stones will last for decades on a chimney’s exterior, the mortar that holds them together is not so durable. Overtime, the mortar begin to soften and crumble away. This causes unsightly chimneys, and it can also compromise the strength of your chimney structure. Tuckpointing involves scraping out the old mortar and replacing it with new reinforced mortar. Total Chimney Care provides tuckpointing services to restore the strength and appearance of it.

Chimney relining & Firebox rebuild

Inside your chimney, your clay tile liner can develop cracks due to exposure to moisture and heat from your fireplace. When these cracks are severe, they allow the heat and smoke from your fireplace to access the surrounding structure of your home. In these cases, the chimney should be relined so your chimney can continue to safely contain the heat and smoke from your fireplace.

Like the chimney flue, the firebox can develop cracks in the masonry to compromise the firebox’s ability to contain the heat and embers of your fireplace. To keep your fireplace safe, Total Chimney Care can rebuild your firebox to restore it.

Chimney waterproofing

If your chimney masonry isn’t showing signs of water damage, and you’d like to keep it that way, Total Chimney Care can help protect your chimney masonry with waterproofing. Waterproofing keeps porous masonry from absorbing the water to causes damage to your chimney.

If you see signs of masonry damage on your chimney or in your fireplace this spring, don’t let it get worse. Let Total Chimney Care repair your damaged masonry! We specialize in chimney masonry repairs. Call to schedule an evaluation for your chimney today!

By Steve Sobczak on April 30th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

We fix leaky chimneys!

What kind of shape is your chimney in after all of the stress of winter? Of course, you know that your chimney was bearing a lot of abuse from the inside, as you put your fireplace or heating stove to good use. But the real abuse a chimney faces during the winter months happens to its exterior. Come spring, the harsh conditions your chimney endured can become evident in the form of chimney leaks. If your chimney is showing signs of a leak this spring, call Total Chimney Care — We fix leaky chimneys!

How chimney leaks formwhite ceiling with brown water damage spots

So how does winter’s freezing weather affect your chimney’s exterior? Masonry materials, like the bricks, stone, and mortar used to build chimneys, are highly porous. Those materials absorb water. The water by itself isn’t a danger, but when temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands. That frozen, expanding water damages your chimney’s masonry. The damage caused by water trapped in your chimney’s masonry and freezing temperatures can lead to leaks.


Common causes of chimney leaks

Some common chimney damage that can lead to chimney leaks includes:

  • Cracks in the chimney crown. Your chimney crown is your chimney’s seal against water damage. At the top of your chimney, it protects the inner layers of your chimney by preventing water from pouring down in. When water trapped in the chimney crown freezes, it can cause the masonry to crack. Those cracks can allow water to leak into your chimney.
  • Deteriorated chimney masonry. Just like freezing water in the chimney crown can cause damage, freezing water trapped in your chimney’s masonry can cause damage. The chimney’s bricks and stones can crack or crumble, or pieces of the stones or bricks can pop off entirely. In addition to being unsightly, this damage can let water leak in through the sides of your chimney.
  • Crumbling mortar. The mortar joints that hold your chimney’s bricks or stones together can begin to soften and crumble away due to freeze-thaw damage. Water can seep in through these damaged mortar joints, causing chimney leaks.
  • Leaky flashing. It’s not just masonry materials that can be damaged during the winter months, opening your chimney up to the possibility of leaks. The flashing that seals the juncture between your chimney and your roofline can crack at the seams or develop holes. That can allow water to pour freely into your home around your chimney.

What to do about chimney leaks

If your chimney is clearly leaking, or if it shows signs of damage that can allow water to leak in, don’t ignore the leak or the damage! Water coming in through your chimney cause serious damage to your chimney or to your home’s structure. A chimney leak, or chimney damage, should be dealt with immediately to prevent serious water damage to your home. Call Total Chimney Care to fix your chimney leak or chimney damage today!

By Steve Sobczak on March 16th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

What is Tuckpointing? And Why Might My Chimney Need It?

What is Tuckpointing and Why Does My Chimney Need It - Fairfied New Haven CT - Total Chimney CareA few months ago you noticed some cracks in your chimney’s mortar but placed the issue to the back of your mind. After all, how bad could a few cracks actually be? Lately, though, the cracks seem to be getting bigger, and you have even noticed a water leak in your home every time it rains. Now the heavy burden of regret begins to set in from blowing off the issue when you first noticed it. You worry about the problem leading to serious water damage and expensive repairs. Fortunately, though, tuckpointing can handle the problem now and help you avoid more costly solutions later on down the road.

What is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing, also known as repointing, is a method of repairing mortar joints by replacing the damaged mortar with new mortar. During this process, two contrasting colors of mortar with one color matching the brickwork, are placed in the mortar joints.

Why Might My Chimney Need It?

The need for tuckpointing is inevitable, since all masonry chimneys face damage at some point. In fact, mortar, lasting about 25 years, has a much shorter lifespan than the bricks on your chimney. Over time, weathering leads to damage of your chimney’s mortar. Tuckpointing is the most cost-effective way to repair damaged areas of your mortar joints. Otherwise, if the mortar joints are left to deteriorate, the chimney will eventually collapse, warranting an expensive rebuild of the entire chimney. It may be time to go ahead and consider tuckpointing before extensive damage occurs if there are gaps, holes, or cracks in the mortar or if there is a white substance on the masonry.

What are Some Benefits of Tuckpointing?

In addition to preventing the need for more costly repairs, tuckpointing also offers numerous other benefits:

  • By stopping mortar joint corrosion, tuckpointing gives your chimney a longer lifespan.
  • By keeping water out of your chimney system, tuckpointing can prevent serious water damage from occurring to your home. Such water damage can lead to problems like mold and rotting wood. According to the Masonry Advisory Council, “Repointing deteriorated mortar joints is one of the most effective and permanent ways of decreasing water entry into brickwork.”
  • Tuckpointing can impose structural stability on a deteriorating chimney.
  • Tuckpointing improves the value of your home.
  • After tuckpointing, your chimney will look good as new again.

Don’t let damage to your chimney’s mortar joints escalate. If you suspect that your chimney may need tuckpointing and live in the New Haven or Fairfield areas of Connecticut, call or go online today to set up an appointment with the professionals at Total Chimney Care.

By Steve Sobczak on August 8th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment