How to Tuckpoint a Chimney

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Hammer
  • 3/8-in. Chisel
  • Old paint brush
  • Trowel
  • Jointer
  • Mortar board
Materials Required
  • Concrete patch or mortar mix
  • Safety glasses
  • Heavy gloves
  • Ladder
  • Spray bottle with water

Before You Begin

Set up a ladder so it is safe and within reach of the loose brick mortar of the chimney. Wear heavy gloves and safety glasses for protection. Make sure that the fireplace damper inside the house is closed to prevent any loosened soot from falling down into the hearth.

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  • Step 1 : Remove loose mortar from the joints

    Remove loose mortar from the joints

    Use a chisel holding it at an angle to the joint and strike it with a hammer to knock out the crumbling joint to a depth of about 1/2-inch. Chip out both the vertical and horizontal joints.

  • Step 2 : Clean out the joints

    Clean out joints

    Use an old paint brush to remove loose mortar and dirt from the joint between the bricks. Brush it out several times until the joint is clean and dry.

  • Step 3 : Dampen the joints with water

    Moisten the joints with a spray bottle of water to dampen them.

  • Step 4 : Use a trowel to apply the material

    Use trowel to apply mortar mix

    Prepare as much concrete or mortar mix that can be used in one hour according to the manufacturer's direction. Then apply it with a trowel working it into the vertical joints first, then the horizontal joints to provide a permanent seal.

  • Step 5 : Strike the joints

    Strike the joints

    Use a jointer to strike the joints to a slightly concave profile. After the mortar hardens, brush off any loose mortar.