Benefits of Tuckpointing

Tuckpointing is an intricate procedure done to finish or provide masonry repair via the mortar joints. A narrow ridge of lime putty is carefully inserted between the bricks to achieve the effect. A fine lime mortar may also be used. Experienced masonry contractors provide tuckpointing services to prevent ongoing moisture problems and repair damaged walls or chimneys. Here are some of the benefits of tuckpointing.

What is Tuckpointing?

We commonly see bricks in interior and exterior walls, fireplaces, chimneys, and more. Over time, the mortar used to fill joints deteriorates even if the bricks are in good condition. And that is where the tuckpointing comes. 

Tuckpointing is the process of using two mortars in different shades to create a clean-looking edge between the bricks of your surface and enhance the appearance of your masonry. The process involves removing the portion of the deteriorated mortar and filling the joints with the new mortar with the one color that perfectly matches the bricks’ color. After that, you apply the second color contrasting down the center of the joints. The result will create an illusion of a perfectly-maintained and narrow joint.

Tuckpointing is commonly found on old or historical homes, where the owner wants to retain the home’s original appearance. 

Another similar process to tuckpointing is repointing. However, repointing is done to replace the old mortar with the new to remove cracks and debris. Repointing is a critical process as preventative maintenance, and the aesthetic value is not a huge factor. If you want beautiful, durable, and appealing bricks, consider tuckpointing. Read more:

What is the Purpose of Mortar?

Mortar acts like a paste to your blocks as a binder. Mortar is a combination of water, sand, and concrete used to connect two or more blocks when wet and keep them secure once they are dry. 

Benefits oftuckpointing Tuckpointing 

Weather-Proof Seal:

The biggest reason to have tuckpointing is to stop water from getting inside to further deteriorate the brickwork or stone wall. While you may be seeing minor holes or settling cracks now, these will eventually develop into brick movement that will lead to complete masonry failure if left unchecked.

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Curb Appeal:

Ensure that your home looks great with tuckpointing that can give it a fresh new appearance. You can even personalize your home by changing the color of your existing mortar that connects the joints.

Better Insulation:

While tuckpointing contractors are not going to be able to reduce your energy bills to any dramatic effect, they can seal the masonry to repel water, mold growth, insects, and small animals. An exposed mortar joint that is only open ¾” is large enough for a maple tree to begin to germinate, for a colony of ants to find a new home, or for mice, bats, chipmunks, and other small creatures to invade.  

Structural Support:

Tuckpointing is not in and of itself structural, it adds integrity to your masonry by removing the dilapidated mortar and replacing it with fresh joints to strengthen the wall overall. Plus, it provides a preventative type of masonry restoration to hold off deterioration that can cause significant and costly damage.

Added Property Value

Every homeowner wants their largest investment to increase in value. Masonry repair can add value versus letting the problems grow. A full tuckpointing can make your home worth quite a bit more than one that needs masonry repair. You can add some of the cost you spent on tuckpointing back into your home, and under the right circumstances, you may even get back a total return on your investment. Enhanced curb appeal and a fully restored exterior that shows well are two major selling points that buyers want to see.

The Tuckpointing Process

The first part is removing all the loose and deteriorated mortar in the area using a cold chisel or hammer. Next, prepare the joints by sweeping the loose mortar with a stiff-bristle brush. Then mixing the mortar is an important part where you need to add a cement dye to match an existing mortar color. Add the mortar between the bricks and wait until it all dries. Once the job is completed, you can expect it to last for another 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. 

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What Causes Mortar Deterioration?

  1. Water entering the structure- Deteriorating mortar limits the structure’s ability to repel water. Water passes in the small cracks and holes, allowing them to collect and sit around walls, resulting in molds and mortar deterioration.
  2. Deterioration in Structure – If the mortar cannot sustain the load of the bricks above it, it starts to crumble and crack. This could result in brickwork falling off or the entire section dropping out entirely because of the failed support. 
  3. Uneven Wear and Tear- Because some parts of your brickwork are more exposed to the elements, it results in uneven wear and tears. Those with more exposure tend to deteriorate fast, leading to your masonry’s failure. 

Don’t worry if you see any of these problems. Our masonry and tuckpointing contractors can handle and get the job done right.

Signs Your Need a Tuckpointing Service

Your bricks will give you some obvious signs when it is time for tuckpointing service. Knowing what to expect and what to do can save you time and money later. Here are some of the most common signs that mean you need tuckpointing:

-Loosed or damaged brickwork

-Discolorations or spots 

-Washed-out color bricks

-Dirty and cracked basement walls

How often should Tuckpointing be done?

In general, tuckpointing should be done every 10-15 years. However, several factors need to be considered. For example, if you live in a humid climate with more rainfall, you might need to get tuckpointing frequently. Contact our tuckpointing contractors to assess your structure’s condition if you are uncertain. 

What happens if you don’t tuckpoint?

If your mortar begins to deteriorate, you must find a reliable tuckpointing contractor to fix it. If you don’t tuckpoint, your masonry wall will deteriorate to the point that you have to replace the whole wall, which may be too expensive. 

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