Here in Tidewater Virginia there are numerous historical properties, many of which are still used as regular family homes. Historic properties come with historic chimneys and even if you don’t plan to use the fireplaces, it’s important to the preservation of the building to maintain the masonry appropriately. The spring and summer are the best times of year to have restoration done, so if you have a chimney in need of attention now is the time to get started!
The chief enemy of historic brickwork is moisture. Over time mortar deteriorates and may begin allowing moisture in. The freeze/thaw cycle may then cause major damage as the mortar contracts and expands resulting in cracks and holes. The process of repointing removes deteriorated mortar and replaces it with new mortar. Done properly, repointing restores the chimney both structurally and visually. Done poorly, it can cause future damage and will negatively affect the appearance of the chimney. In most cases pre-mixed mortar cannot be used as it is far too hard for older masonry. It is therefore very important to hire professionals who are experienced in hand mixing mortar for historic structures.
Stone chimneys are less susceptible to water damage because stone is less permeable than brick, but stone chimneys are held together by large amounts of mortar and therefore require repointing as well. If you’re not sure if your chimney needs attention, it’s a good idea to have it inspected by a professional.
Black Goose is experienced in historic masonry work. We have done major and minor projects on homes from the 18th and 19th centuries in Norfolk, Newport News, Smithfield, and even the Northern Neck.