Historical brick homes or exterior brick walls are so easing to the eyes. However, every brick building requires much care and attention because they age or deteriorate over time; thus, it requires maintenance or repair. However, tuckpointing is one of the most effective ways to ensure that every exterior brick structure remains timelessly beautiful.
Confused about tuckpointing? Please continue reading to dig in deeper to the definition of tuckpointing, along with the benefits. This article also includes the steps of the process that you might be interested in reading into, in case you have the time and skills to perform a DIY tuckpointing.
What is tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing can be done to any type of brick construction because it is simply the removal of old or deteriorated mortar from joints to replace it with fresh mortar, intending to recapture the look of the home’s original joints. The lifespan of mortar is usually around 30 years, yet, it still needs repair.
To understand more about tuckpointing here is some mortar lingo you might want to know to fully have the knowledge of tuckpointing.
Pointing: It refers to the actual mortar joints.
Repointing: Removal of old mortar to replace it with new mortar.
Tuckpointing: It is also the process of removing old mortar and replacing it with new mortar, but the mortar color must match the brick color
The difference between tuckpointing from repointing is that it needs another step of embedding narrow lines while repointing the final appearance looks soft.
You don’t want to experience further damage caused by deteriorated, cracked, or disintegrated mortar joints due to weather or time. It is not recommended for homeowners to sit and wait for the mortar to become weak before taking action. Moisture can break down the stone or brick masonry wall.
However, if you decided to do the tuckpointing, it would prevent things like that from happening, especially if it is done correctly or done by a tuckpointing professional.
What are the benefits of tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing does not only help your bricks from mortar deterioration but there are also other benefits that you would enjoy too. You can continue reading the list below to know more.
You won’t have to worry about the weather
Water could cause severe damage to your brick or stone. It may start as small holes, but it will turn into a massive disaster if left untreated. If you have done tuckpointing, you won’t be bothered about the weather because your newly tuck-pointed brick wall will have resistance to weather.
Increased curb appeal
After the process, expect your home to look nice and fresh again since it repairs the damages or gaps. Without tuckpointing, your home would look broken because of the cracks in the mortar.
It may not reduce your utility bills, but it is guaranteed to minimize the growth of pests or bugs. If you keep your mortar joint open, it will be their way to intrude your house.
Save more money
If the cracks or damages are neglected, you might spend more money for complete masonry repairs or replacement. If you have spare time, you may conduct regular maintenance to avoid things from worse scenarios. You may call and ask a professional for help if you think your mortar is deteriorating.
Added structural value
Tuckpointing may add integrity to your structure because of the new and fresh mortar. It won’t come to the point of structural damage because tuckpointing has already prevented it.
What tools are needed for tuckpointing?
Some people really opt to save money and do the process themselves, and if you are one of them, here’s the list you might need.
- Eye protection
- Cold chisel
- Grinder with a masonry disc
- Jointing tool
- Mortar hawk
- Masonry Towel
- Stiff-bristle brush
- Mortar mix
- Cement dye
- Liquid later binder
What are the steps of tuckpointing?
Here is the tuckpointing process. You need to know whether you are going to do it yourself or hire a professional.
First, assessing where the damaged mortar should be done. And then, prepare the needed equipment like ladders or scaffolding to make sure you reach the area safely.
And then, start by removing a depth of at least one inch in the mortar joints. Some masons do the process of joint removal by using a hammer and chisel or with a 4″ angle grinder. However, there are also different ways to do this.
After that, there will be debris and dust from the ground-out mortar joints, which you will brush off using a masonry brush. But if you have a high-pressure nozzle with you, that will do too.
As suggested by the mortar manufacturer, create a mortar mix in a wheelbarrow with clean water. And make sure that it matches your brick color. This might be a complicated process because it requires blending with mortar pigment, which is sometimes a struggle to achieve the exact match. Getting the precise ratio of pigment to mortar would help!
Next is filling up every joint with mortar. Start filling wet mortar with the horizontal joints, and make sure you are using the right tool for the size of the joints.
The next step would be allowing the mortar to cure first. Let it sit rather for about 30 minutes for the curing process. Loose mortar must be brushed out from the joint. It is also recommended to keep the area with moisture, either by covering it with plastic sheeting or misting it with water for 3 days.
After the construction has been completed, you may apply a masonry cleaner to remove residual haze. And then, you may proceed to apply a sealer on it; however, it is not necessary.
Need help? Ask a professional
It may seem easy to read, but not everyone can do it properly, resulting in further problems. It would be best to call and ask a professional masonry tuckpointing contractor to perform such a task. An improperly done work may cause additional work in the future. Your contractor may also give you tips and suggestions about how you can maintain the tuckpointed area.