What is Tuckpointing and what are the benefits?
Tuckpointing is a technique used in masonry of using two contrasting colors of mortar in the mortar joints of brickwork, one color matching the bricks themselves, to give an artificial impression that very fine joints have been made. The process creates the illusion of very fine joints within the wall. In some parts of the United States and Canada, some confusion may result as the term is often used interchangeably with “pointing” (to correct defects or finish off joints in newly laid masonry) and “repointing” (to place wet mortar into cut or raked joints to repair weathered joints in old masonry). Tuckpointing is a common maintenance procedure for brick structures where the mortar is wearing away. Tuckpointing reinforces structures that are less sturdy by sealing the area from exposure to the elements and creating a more attractive appeal overall.
Masonry units, bricks, stone, or block can last up to 100 years. But the Mortar joints typically last for twenty to thirty years depending on exposure to different kinds of weather. Especially in the chimneys and fireplaces where the weather conditions are too harsh. So, these weather conditions weaken the mortar joints, it causes moisture to break down the stone or brick wall and possibly cause moisture problems behind it.
So, when tuckpointing is done properly, it provides a relatively waterproof mortar joint that extends the life of wall, chimney, fireplace etc. and on the other hand if done before it’s too late it saves a lot of money too.
How is it done?
The basic idea behind tuckpointing is that damaged mortar is removed, and it is replaced with fresh mortar.
- Grounding or routing out the old mortar at a uniform depth.
- Filling in red mortar in the newly routed grooves.
- Cutting thin strips down the middle of the red mortar, to form grooves.
- Filling in the grooves with a mortar color which matches the original mortar on the outside of the structure.