Chimney Repairs: Fixing the Masonry Chimney Repairs: Fixing the Masonry

What You'll Need
Masonry mortar and fortifier
Plasterers hawk
Pointing tool
Chisel (for brick)
Wire brush
Spray bottle
Grout brush
Grout rake
Vacuum cleaner
Stiff brush

Chimney repairs can be labor-intensive and time consuming. When it comes to fixing damaged chimney masonry, there is nothing particularly complicated involved, but it is a messy and time-consuming job. Fortunately, it is also one that the average DIYer should have no problem completing at all, allowing you to save a considerable amount of money. You should be able to find the tools and materials needed at any well-stocked home improvement store.

Step 1 – Remove Loose Masonry

Before you can make any repairs to the chimney masonry, you will first need to remove any loose masonry from the installation. Use a grout rake to remove it. For any larger loose chunks which are a bit harder to remove, use the hammer and chisel to get rid of them.

Step 2 – Widen the Joints

Use the flattened sides of the grout rake to dig into the joints. Once you have done this and removed any loose material, use the vacuum cleaner to get rid of any remaining dust. The surface needs to be completely clean and free of dust, otherwise any repairs carried out will not work effectively. Once you have removed excess dust with the vacuum cleaner, use the wire brush to remove any more loosened dust from the repair area. Use the vacuum cleaner once more, and you will be ready to continue.

Step 3 – Wet the Old Masonry

Wetting the old masonry will make the new mortar adhere to it better. To do this, simply use a spray bottle filled with water to lightly spray the repair area.

Step 4 – Prepare the Mortar

The mortar should be mixed in with the fortifier as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions, which you should be able to find on the packaging. Like any mortar, it will be ready to use once the mixture is thick but not so thick that it will be difficult to work with.

Step 5 – Apply the Mortar

Put some of the mortar onto the hawk, and have the trowel and pointing tool handy. Fill the joints with the mortar mix using the pointing tool and trowel. Be sure that the repaired surfaces are thoroughly filled and densely packed with the mortar. Make sure that the surface is even. Leave the mortar for about half an hour before continuing with the next step.

Step 6 – Remove Excess Mortar

Once the mortar has had half an hour to start setting, scrape away any excess mortar with the trowel. Make sure that the repaired area is flush with the rest of the chimney wall.

Step 7 – Finishing Up

Spray a little more water over the repaired area. This will prevent it from drying too quickly and cracking as a result. Allow the mortar to dry for 2 to 3 days. Do not use the chimney before this time. Finally, brush away any excess dust from the repaired area using a stiff brush. 

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