Tuckpointing: What it is and Why its Needed

One of the joys of home ownership is all of the constant maintenance tasks one must perform in order to keep the value of your most prized possession…right?  Well not really.  But unfortunately there are some things that are of utmost importance when it comes to taking care of your home, or business for that matter.  If you have the honor of owning a brick home or business, tuckpointing may be one those tasks that you will be forced to deal with at some time or another.  So what exactly is tuckpointing?  Well, I’ll tell you.

Any building that is made out of brick, may need to be tuckpointed at some point.  Mortar is the material that keeps bricks in place and allows them to be built into walls, or chimneys.  Mortar, however, loses its integrity over time and can deteriorate to the point where it is no longer doing a good job of keeping those bricks neatly organized.  Missing mortar leads to cracks in the exterior of your home.  Those cracks, if not treated in a timely manner can actually lead to collapse!  Not good.  However, one of the main concerns with cracks, is moisture.  Water finds the smallest of cracks, but can lead to the biggest of problems.  Having these cracks tuckpointed can prevent all of these problems.

A professional tuckpointing company, will survery they existing damage and should provide you with a timeline and estimate of how much it will cost to tuckpoint your home or business.  Sometimes it is not necessary to tuckpoint and entire home.  There are instances where small portions of your brickwork can be tuckpointed to put a stop to progessing damage.  A tuckpointer will remove the existing mortar before filling the gaps between the bricks with fresh mortar.  They will remove the mortar by using tools such as grinders, picks, and chisels.  Once they have removed as much of the existing mortar with these tools, the may use a water hose to rinse out as much of the sediment from the pre-existing mortar.

Once the tuckpointer has removed as much of the pre-existing mortar as possible, they will begin to apply the new mortar.  An experienced tuckpointer will do so without making a big mess, or getting fresh mortar all over the face of your brick wall.  They will “keep it in the gaps” as they like to say.  The application of fresh mortar is a tedious process and a large house or building can take several days for the job to be completed.  Always hire a recommended tuck pointing company, as there are many fly by night tuckpointing companies that will try to rip you off.  Ask around.  If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of other brick homes, it is likely that one of your neighbors can make a good recommendation.  Look for the homes with great looking brick.

Tuckpointing is an important task that all brick buildings will need at some point.  It is essential that tuckpointing is done as soon as cracks in the mortar are noticed, as this problem will not go away on its own and only get worse