Brick homes are aesthetically pleasing, timeless, and structurally sound. However, brick structures require maintenance to ensure their structural integrity and lively aesthetic. Tuckpointing is one of the most straightforward but efficient methods of maintaining the condition of brick walls and facades.
You might think of tuckpointing when you use a trowel or special tool to insert new mortar between bricks. When the old mortar is removed from the brick joints and replaced with new, it is known as tuckpointing. Repairing a brick doesn’t need removing any healthy ones. Bricks above can be supported while the tuckpointing repair is performed because roughly three-quarters of an inch of mortar needs to be removed.
After the professional removes the old mortar, a fresh batch of concrete is put in the joints. Afterward, the joint is polished, trimmed, and shaped to fit the rest of the joints. If the repair color sticks out, don’t be alarmed; the weather will soon blend the new mortar in with the rest of the surface.
Why Do You Need Tuckpointing?
Building owners choose brick and stone facilities because they require little to no maintenance. Although brick facades can remain for hundreds of years without major repairs, this is not the case in practice. Despite this, building managers should keep in mind that even the most durable brick structure will need some maintenance.
For aesthetic and safety reasons, crumbling masonry seams can become an eyesore for nearby residents. If the deteriorating masonry isn’t addressed, water seepage below the brick facade might cause structural damage to the building. Loosened bricks might lead to significant and expensive repairs in the long run. Small mice, insects, and other pests can also infiltrate the building’s exterior, posing further structural and health risks.
When it comes to older masonry structures, the lack of air gaps, weeps, and vents makes it critical to tuckpoint the mortar joints. Moisture can continue to seep through the masonry and into the interior finishes if these features aren’t there. There is a risk of mold and mildew developing due to this process. The lack of a vent in a wall assembly can cause moisture that penetrates or condenses in a cold climate to freeze and deteriorate the building components.
Tuckpointing is a feature of masonry that can extend the life of older structures by decades, saving homeowners money in the long run. The first thing that comes to mind when you see water dripping from your chimney is that there is a leak in the roof. This could be the case. Regardless, the masonry in your chimney may have deteriorated to the point that water can seep in.
Note that cracks in mortar and brick aren’t usually caused by regular wear and tear. It’s important to see a structural engineer if you notice cracks in a brick exterior because this could indicate that the foundation of the building is shifting or compromised.
How Often Do You Need Tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing accomplishes two critical goals. A brick facade’s structural integrity will be restored through tuckpointing if it becomes required. Structural damage and costly repair costs could result if tuckpointing is ignored. Brick walls and chimneys benefit from competent tuckpointing.
Mortar joints that are cracked, broken, partially missing, or projecting from the surface are obvious evidence of damage. When the damage is severe, bricks or stones may crumble or break away from the structure. This situation necessitates prompt action to avoid further structural damage. In extreme circumstances, stone facades may have to be replaced.
Tuckpointing is best done before a brick wall or masonry building exhibits evident signs of damage or wear and tear that require repair.
Consider hiring a professional to inspect your home for symptoms of mortar damage, which can be difficult for the average person to detect. Whether you’re planning to expand your facility, have your construction manager conduct an inspection of your current building to determine if any repairs are required.
Masonry units, such as bricks, stone, or blocks, can last for up to a hundred years. Depending on the type of weather, Mortar joints can survive anywhere from twenty to thirty years. Especially in chimneys and fireplaces if the weather is too harsh. Moisture seeps through the mortar joints, weakening the stone or brick wall and increasing the risk of moisture damage behind it.
This means that when the tuckpointing is done correctly, it offers a waterproof mortar connection that increases the life of a wall or other structure and saves money in the long run.
However, the frequency with which you should have your property tuckpointed varies according to its location. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, is humid, or has a lot of freeze/thaw cycles, you may need to have your tuckpointing repaired more frequently since the mortar deteriorates more quickly.
Although it may be required more frequently, it’s still worth the investment. A brick structure that fails due to deteriorating mortar joints will wind up costing you a lot more if you don’t fix it!
Looking For a Tuckpointing Contractor?
Although tuckpointing can be done at home, it’s best to leave it to the experts. This time-consuming technique requires tremendous precision to give the appearance of level mortar joints.
Some homeowners prefer tuckpointing because it offers the illusion of a cleaner visual image. This is because the mortar matches the color of the bricks; unless you inspect the wall closely, you will not detect the transition between the mortar and the brick. Additionally, the fillets deceive the eye into believing the perfectly straight lines are actual mortar joints, creating the illusion that the entire wall was built with brand new brickwork.
Tuckpointing is a frequent practice among bricklayers, but it is less common among non-industry professionals. If the tuckpointing is done by an experienced professional, it will blend in with the rest of the building and keep it looking like it did before it was damaged in the first place.
Tuckpointing is also less expensive than repairing or replacing the entire stonework. Many building maintenance duties can be avoided if they are done regularly, and minor faults are fixed before they become large ones.
If you have any concerns about the condition of your mortar, you should contact a certified specialist to perform an inspection and discuss your tuckpointing choices.
When you need tuckpointing services, contact Paragon Remodelling as they provide top-rated masonry tuckpointing in Washington DC. The professionals at Paragon Remodelling are dedicated to meeting all of your masonries, and home renovation needs with a high level of professionalism. The natural beauty of your brick home and your external walls are both essential, so they’ll work with you to find a solution that’s both affordable and effective.