What mortar mix for flaunching on chimney stack?


Mortar mix is a combination of cement and sand that is used to hold together construction type blocks. When water is added, it becomes a workable paste that sets hard. It is used with materials like bricks and stones to make walkways and walls.

Mortar was originally made of mud or clay. There is evidence of the use of mortar in cultures around the world. Iranian and Babylonian structures used mortar from about 2900 BC on. The earliest Egyptian pyramids used the mud or clay combination, while later buildings used gypsum or lime.

This continued on with the ancient Greeks and Romans who perfected the use of concrete and mortar in building their elaborate city schemes. In later cultures, the water soluble ingredient lime became the primary active ingredient, which was ultimately damaging to the stability of many structures.

There are many grades of mortar mixes found at home improvement stores. It is important to recognize that each has its place in construction....

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Damaged flaunching

Flaunching is the mortar base holding the chimney pot in position on top of the chimney stack. If there are minor cracks in the mortar, these are easily repaired with mastic applied with a gun or pressed into the cracks.

Replacing the flaunching

If there are more serious cracks evident, then the flaunching should be completely replaced. It is important to support the chimney pot before removing the flaunching. Tie a length of rope around the top of the pot (A) and a second rope around the chimney stack (B). Then secure by attaching a rope from A to B on both sides of the stack. This should hold the pot in position before removing the flaunching.

Use a cold chisel and club hammer to remove the damaged mortar. Brush away the unwanted material and dampen the surface of the stack. This is necessary, especially in warmer weather, to stop the mortar from losing moisture too quickly, which would result in cracking. Use mortar consisting of...

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Chimney Stack Diagram

Renown here again to unravel the mysteries of chimney terminology so that you’ll know just what we’re talking about when we use weird and wonderful terms like flaunching, soakers and apron!

Simply put, the chimney is the exhaust system that safely carry noxious gases and smoke from your fire and out of your home. It is also probably the most vulnerable area of your roof as it offers an open route to rainwater if not properly protected and maintained.

Starting with the basics, the section of the chimney protruding through the roof is the chimney stack. Of brick construction this is the most visible part of your chimney from ground level and it forms the final section of the flue that carries fumes away. Exposed to the harshest weather conditions, the mortar joints of the brickwork can become badly eroded causing damp to occur in rooms directly below. Perished mortar on the chimney stack should be raked out and the brickwork re-pointed. For...

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Mortar is a combination of cement and sand that is used to seize construction blocks. When water is added to this mix, it turns into a paste. This paste becomes hard when it dries. Mixing the chimney mortar can be a tricky task. There is absolutely no doubt that doing the mixing onsite ensures greater strength and flexibility. However, the measuring and the mortar consistency need to be accurate.

When working with concrete, bricks, and stones, it is important to ensure that the mortar that holds theses materials together is correct. In fact, the right consistency of mortar would predict the success of the chimney. If the mortar is weak and not right, the chimney could become unstable. The correct mortar mix would ensure the stability of the chimney as well as spread easily, making it easy to work with.

The Different Types of Mortar

The first tip to remember when mixing chimney mortar is the four different types of mortar that are commonly used in...

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Mortar mix is really an important building component that must be combined thoroughly. Mortar is the bonding material between bricks and stones and many other materials, made from sand, water, and cement in varying mixtures and amounts. The mortar could be mixed by following these steps, just like the pros do.

Mixing Mortar Procedure

The following steps must be carefully followed to obtain the right mortar consistency:

Use a dry bucket to measure out the materialsIs always a good idea to pre-wet mortar containers before filling with fresh mortar.Prepare a flat solid surface where mortar could be mixed. A good solid surface is recommended to reduce water being absorbed by the mortar mix.Add 3 parts sand and 1 part masonry cement. If the wall is going to be exposed to lots of wind and rain you'll need the mix to be stronger, so use 1 part cement to 1/2 part lime and 4 parts sand.Add two gallons of water on top of the mixture or inside the wheel borrow.If you are...
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This page is part of our blog and is all about mortar mixes for home improvement and construction projects.

Whether you’re laying bricks, pointing, renewing chimney flaunching, laying screed or rendering, we have the best mix ratios for you.

Tradespeople and builders often use different terms to describe cement, concrete and mortar, so here’s a quick guide designed to avoid confusion:

Cement is a greyish coloured powder that is mixed with sand and/or other aggregates to create concrete or mortar.

Mortar is a mixture of fine sand particles, cement, water and sometimes lime. It’s typically used for brick laying and pointing. It is usually laid in thin layers as thicker layers may crack during the drying process.

Concrete is a mixture of aggregates such as crushed rock, gravel and sand that is mixed with cement and water. Concrete is usually laid in thick layers, the larger particles prevent cracking during the drying process.

Soft sand is...

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When the mortar that holds the bricks together, starts to crumble, all the loose pieces should be removed, and the gaps filled in with new mortar. The procedure for doing this is called ‘repointing.’ While you are looking the chimney over to see just how much mortar needs to be repaired; take the opportunity to check the bricks for any cracks or breaks. This would be a good time to replace them. It would be like killing two birds with one stone. Repointing your chimney mortar is not hard work, but it is time consuming. Of course it all depends on the amount of repair work that needs to be done; but with proper planning, you should be able to get it done in a day.

You can use vinyl cement to repoint if you choose to, and some people prefer to do so. It is a lot less work, and it can be applied with a caulking gun. The down side to this is the patching is visible. My husband and I repaired a chimney on one of our rentals this way. We really didn’t care for the way it looked;...

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Make sure when you start handling the mortar that you have gloves on. Cement can cause a reaction with your skin, it dries it out and cracks it and that can be painful. It doesn't take much to do that and if you're pointing for several hours without gloves, then you'll certainly feel it.

When you start pointing, depending on how and what you're pointing, then it can sometimes be beneficial to add the mortar in stages. If you have large gaps to fill, then put a layer of mortar in rough, then leave it to dry for a few hours. You can then go back and point it up with a bit more to finish. If it is a large gap, then if you try to do it all in one go, it can look great when you've first done it, but when you leave it, then it slowly slides out and leaves a gap at the top. You don't want this! If you're just doing brickwork or small gaps then you don't need to worry and can usually do it in one go.

If you're going to point properly, then you need to get as much of the old...

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Before we get in to how to make the perfect mortar mix for your chosen DIY task, it is important to understand exactly what a mortar mix is and how it differs from other mixes such as concrete.

What is Mortar?

Within trade and DIY circles, the terms cement, mortar and concrete can be used to mean the same thing e.g. a mixture of materials that form a compound that can be used to bond bricks or blocks together in order to form a structure, but in actuality they are three totally seperate things

Mortar: This is primarily a mixture of sand and cement (can also include lime) that is used to bond brickwork and blockwork together to form walls and other structures. Water is also added to the mix to activate the cement and make the whole mixture harden Concrete: Although concrete uses similar base materials to mortar (cement, sand etc....) it also features gravel or other similar course material. It's primary use is really to form a solid base on which to build or hold...
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It is crucial to keep chimneys in good order, especially in older properties. With the widespread usage of central heating and rarity of log fires, many chimneys are at present an unnecessary addition to your property. A component of a stack could be prone to fail in high winds and other inclement weather, which might well lead to untold damage to property (or individuals) below.

Never try any repairs to chimneys unless the stack is little and easy to reach from the roof ladder or if you’ve hired correct chimney scaffolding.


Because chimney stacks are in a really exposed place, it’s common for the pointing between the bricks to crumble away. This might lead to dampness and also make the heap unstable. Damaged joints will need to be re pointed:

First rake out the old mortar to a depth of about 20mm and lightly wet the points. A garden sprayer is ideal for this. Then press fresh mortar in position and smooth it off at a small downward angle....

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Russell Taylor

Chimneys and flues are subjected to intense heating and cooling cycles, condensation and aggressive chemical reactions caused by hot flue gases. Above the roof line the chimney stack is exposed to the full force of the weather. To withstand such conditions, maintenance and repairs need to be of the highest standard, and it is important that design elements of such significance are conserved properly. Yet works are often badly executed by unqualified contractors using inappropriate materials and ill-conceived methods. The result can be damaging to the character and fabric of the building, and may even be dangerous.

This article describes some of the most common problems and suggests how they can be tackled.


Although flues have been in use since ancient times, many early domestic fires were open...

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Chimney & Ridge Repairs/Repointing...

Chimney Repair

A properly functioning chimney has enough draft to pull smoke out of your home and provide enough oxygen for hot, complete burning of wood to occur.

It is important that your chimney is the right type and style for your firebox or stove. In addition, it should be installed properly in your home in compliance with building codes and manufacturer instructions.

A well-designed system has the following performance characteristics: fires light easily and burn bright and hot draft builds quickly lighting fires does not cause smoke to fill room opening the door does not cause smoke to spill out when fire is not in use, air flows into the stove and cold air and bad smells do not come out

Common repairs

The purpose of your chimney is two-fold. It must remove harmful byproducts created when fuel is burned, and it must carry excessive heat away from combustible...

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