All You Need to Know About Tuckpointing

For most people, tuckpointing isn’t a word commonly used in their vocabulary. However, if you’re living in a home with brick somewhere on your property – whether it’s on your exterior or interior walls, fireplace, chimney, or throughout your landscaping – you’ll want to educate yourself on all things tuckpointing. Here’s a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know.

What is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is the process of maintaining the mortar that is used between bricks. It involves removing any old or deteriorating mortar that may be unsightly or damaged in order to replace it with new mortar. Tuckpointing helps to keep everything looking new and beautiful as well as structurally sound.

One aspect people use tuckpointing for is utilizing two different colors of mortar in order to give the appearance of fine joints. To do this, you take one mortar that closely matches the bricks themselves and one of a high contrast. This creates the thin joint appearance, which can increase the aesthetics of the structure.

Why Should You Tuckpoint?

One of the main reasons you should tuckpoint is weathering. Over time, things deteriorate. When you add intense weather conditions to this, it happens faster and more intensely. Tuckpointing helps to maintain structural stability.

Another reasons you should tuckpint is for the aesthetics of it. You can give your bricks a complete change of look if you simply change the mortar color. Additionally, tuckpointing helps to make old walls or structures look like they’ve just been installed.

In order to avoid collapsed walls and unsightly designs, tuckpointing is crucial. This is especially true if you want to avoid costly teardowns in the future. As a bonus benefit, it can even add more value to your home.

When to Tuckpoint

If your home is relatively new, you may not need a tuckpointing job for a while. This is because, when done correctly, the original mortar will last a long time – sometimes up to 50 years. Original mortar is usually stronger and thicker than when you tuckpoint, which explains the increased longevity.

If your home is a bit older, you’ll want to make sure that you stick to the 25-30 year rule to avoid costly structural damage. Some other things to take into consideration are:

  • Exposure to water, weather and extreme cold – If you live in an area that has freezing temperatures, there might be a shorter lifespan for your mortar due to freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Type of mortar used – Mortars and their respective additives all have different lifespan. Different colors, adhesives, etc. need to be taken into consideration when determining lifespan.
  • Quality of work – When it comes to tuckpointing, it is always advised to get professional help. It can be the difference between a 5-year lifespan and a 25-year lifespan. Professionals like those at Chicago Tuck Pointing, help save you time, money and stress.

Unfortunately, there is a time when it is too late for tuckpointing. Loose bricks are bad signs. It means that you’ve past the window and you now need to do a complete tear down. This is vastly more expensive and takes up a lot more time, which is why we recommend timely inspections and repairs.

Who to Trust to Tuckpoint?

While you can add tuckpointing to your DIY project list, it is often better to go with a professional. This is because it takes a ton of precision in order to make sure that everything comes out level, strong and durable.

If you’d like to give it a try yourself, we recommend reading into step-by-step instructions. For a quick overview of the process, check out the following steps:

  • Removing existing mortar
  • Cleaning out the mortar joints
  • Experimenting with mixing new mortar to match the existing brick colors
  • Filling in the joints
  • Smoothing the mortar

If you are doing a two-toned tuckpointing job then you will also need to:

  • Scrape lines out of the centers of the semi-hardened, but still pliable, mortar that matches the bricks
  • Apply the putty into the lines very carefully and let dry

If you, like many others, want to leave this job to the professionals then give us a call at Chicago Tuckpointing.
We can be reached at (708-942-1951) or by visiting our website at chicagotuckpointinginc.com.