Over time, nature’s forces and the elements can do a lot of damage to a house. A chimney’s greatest enemy is water. A chimney’s masonry and mortar can deteriorate over time due to exposure to the outdoors and moisture.
When the masonry crumbles, water can seep into the chimney, causing it to become unstable and dangerous. “Spalling” is a condition in which brick fragments begin to fall from the chimney, which is far worse than “fractured bricks.” You may fix your mortar by tuckpointing it. Repair or replacement of a chimney’s mortar should be done immediately to prevent further damage.
Common Signs of Bad Tuckpointing
Tuckpointing is the process of removing old mortar and replacing it with fresh mortar to restore the integrity of a building. Your brickwork will be restored to its original state using this procedure. By doing this easy process, you may protect your chimney’s long-term health by preventing water from seeping into the masonry and causing fractures and spalling.
Few masonry homeowners examine the mortar condition between their brick, block, or stone external masonry walls. In the case of water intrusion, that is, until the problem becomes apparent and causes additional concerns. It is often considered a maintenance activity rather than an opportunity to enhance a building’s aesthetics or structural integrity when tuckpointing.
Tuckpointing is particularly noticeable when a job is performed in a substandard manner.
While masonry repair errors should be uncommon if you are attentive in examining possible masonry contractors, it is beneficial to learn what they are and how to identify them if they do occur. The following are some of the more regularly encountered:
During masonry repair, it is always important to select a mortar that matches the bricks on your structure’s facade and the overall style of your home. Mortar that has a modern appearance with period-style masonry is a bad combination.
Repairing the home’s structural integrity and aesthetic appeal by tuckpointing or repointing is possible when done correctly. When tuckpointing old brick structures, the most typical mistake is to use the wrong mortar mixture. A brick house could be seriously harmed by such a mistake. Additionally, a strong mortar mixture can also pose a threat to your structure.
Conducting no additional research on the issue
Tuckpointing errors include selecting the wrong mortar and repairing the mortar and brickwork without checking for other problems, such as setting the foundation. This can lead to additional cracks forming and walls tilting away from your home or falling totally off its base if tuckpointing is done before the foundation and structure are fixed and elevated.
Incorrect Installation of Flashing
Flashing is critical, and any reputable masonry contractor will go out of their way to make sure it’s installed correctly. With this basic idea, strips are positioned at specific spots in the brickwork at an angle, and water that drips via strategically placed weep holes will hit these strips and be channeled away. The problem is that weep holes that are too small or too few are a regular problem.
Failure to clean the area
If you find a crack in your masonry that requires repointing, always thoroughly clean the damaged area before proceeding. This is because if dust and debris are allowed to accumulate inside the crack, it can hinder the newly applied mortar from bonding properly and fall away shortly afterward.
How to Avoid Bad Tuckpointing
Hire a professional
Construction is a serious undertaking that should not be taken lightly. Installing a new kitchen or adding a bedroom requires a thorough knowledge of home construction to protect the structure’s integrity and ensure that any additional construction complies with local regulations. It is unlikely you have the necessary knowledge and skill if you’re only a weekend DIY warrior. If a building inspector discovers that your construction work isn’t up to code, it will be considered unsafe and you will be required to replace it.
Furthermore, if you conduct your home repairs, you won’t be covered by a warranty. Because of this, if the work is not done correctly, you have no recourse and all of the time and money you invested are gone. Adding insult to injury, shoddy construction might potentially cause structural harm to your property.
Research who you should hire
You may rest assured that your construction project will progress according to schedule if you hire the correct contractor. Before making a hiring decision, do your homework and take your time. This investment will yield dividends in terms of the quality of their work.
The most important step is to examine the contractor’s references once you have a few estimates and a contractor (or three) to choose from. Check out a contractor’s website before calling them. If you look at the contractor’s website, you should get a sense of the kind of work they’ve done in the past.
Look into whether they have any previous clients, certifications, or accolades they can provide you with. That’s only half the battle; you also need to select a good contractor who’s able to work within the parameters of your project’s scope. While looking over their website, you can get a feeling of how serious they are about the work they do.
Call an Expert
It is crucial to ensure that you are in the safe hands of a qualified and experienced contractor, whether it be for an interior or exterior renovation. If you’re looking to hire someone for your next project, we offer masonry tuckpointing services in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. You can rest easy knowing that your home will stay beautiful throughout its lifespan.