Bricks offer a beautiful aesthetic addition to your home, but they need to be protected. If you have any brick structures on your property, you’ll need to regularly inspect them for damage. This is because over time, with a combination of extreme weather and general wear and tear, your bricks will start to deteriorate. It’s a natural process and is nothing to be alarmed about—renovations aren’t usually required yearly. Every 25 years or so, tuckpointing needs to be done to keep the structure and integrity of your home in the best shape possible. However, this doesn’t mean that you should set it and forget it. Taking the time to make inspections and spot tuckpoint is a great way to avoid costly repairs or teardowns.
The best way to ensure you stay on top of your home’s tuckpointing needs is to be aware. While you’re outside, keep an eye on your brickwork. If you live in an area with harsh climate changes, similar to the disparity between Chicago winter and summer, it’s even more important. These changes in weather, in combination with rain and snow, can speed up the deterioration of bricks—leading to small tuckpointing or repointing jobs every now and then.
But when is the absolute best time to check for damage and make necessary repairs? In an ideal world, all tuckpointing jobs would be done when the weather is dry and between 40° F and 90° F. In the Chicagoland area, this tends to be anywhere from late spring – after the heavy rains – to fall. However, it’s important to understand that if you see any signs of damage or degradation, you should call a professional for an expert opinion immediately.
Sometimes, waiting to do masonry work until the conditions are perfect is not realistic. Luckily, most masonry professionals are equipped to handle these conditions and can set up shop in almost any climate.
For instance, if you happen to need tuckpointing work in the middle of the winter, there are a number of things that can be done to ensure the job is completed well. Tuckpointing companies can add an additive to the mortar or cement mixture, which increases the time it takes to curate. This allows work to be done in cold, frigid temperatures without sacrificing quality. If an additive isn’t used, the mortar or cement can easily freeze before it’s set correctly. This leads to more repairs down the line and ends up being a waste of money. Using the additive delays freezing time. Another option is to create outdoor enclosures so that the area being worked on is adequately heated. Not only does this create an ideal environment for tuckpointing, it keeps the professionals comfortable without making them feel the need to rush. Depending on the area of the tuckpointing, this will increases costs but it’s worth it if your home needs it. If this step is skipped, you’ll end up paying for more the same tuckpointing once the weather warms up. When temperatures are too hot, the mortar may eventually get flakey, crack, or set too quickly. It is also not ideal to tuckpoint in the sun or when humidity is high and tuckpointing should never be done when it’s raining. Remember, the key to optimal tuckpointing revolves around the conditions that affect the curing process.
To make sure that your home and your bricks are in the best condition possible, always keep an open eye. If you notice any signs of cracking, deterioration, crumbling, flaking, or full-on missing mortar, call your tuckpointing professional as soon as possible—don’t wait until the weather conditions are perfect. They will work with you to determine the best time to address any issues, whether it means doing so in the dead of winter or heat of summer. It’s always best to make minor repairs rather than waiting until it’s too late and a complete tear down is needed. Tear downs and rebuilds are costly, time consuming, and a huge hassle.
As spring gets closer, now is the best time for an inspection. To get the best out of your tuckpointing experience, give the professionals at Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. a call today. All of our masonries have over 20 years of professional experience and know how to handle tuckpointing jobs in all weather conditions. We have the dedication and patience you need to create a seamless and beautiful product that will last throughout the years. To have your tuckpointing job done by someone you can trust, give us a call at (708) 942-1951 or visit our website chicagotuckpointinginc.com.