When’s the last time you took a hard look at your home’s exterior for damages? A few areas like the windows and siding are easy to check, but what about masonry? Commonly located on the roof in the form of a chimney, deteriorating stonework is difficult to spot. The first thing to do is consider making repairs through tuckpointing. Unfamiliar with this term? Continue reading to learn more about tuckpointing and when it’s necessary.
What is Tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing is the process of replacing damaged mortar within masonry including brick, concrete, and stone.
When is Tuckpointing Necessary?
When conducting masonry work, the materials at hand require mortar to effectively stick to one another. Mortar is a mixture of sand, water, and concrete that results in a paste-like substance. Generally, it can last up to 25 years depending on how vulnerable it is to weather conditions. When mortar ages or becomes damaged, however, it needs to be replaced before a structure collapses entirely.
Excessive Moisture Causes Spalling
Mortar joints, or the spaces between building blocks that are filled with mortar, are susceptible to damage from excessive amounts of moisture. This naturally occurs due to rain and leaky gutter systems. The most common form of damage to follow is spalling – when masonry starts to flake or crumble.
Plants and Fungi Weaken Mortar Joints
Moisture can also result in the growth of algae, moss, or mold within and around the mortar joints. These different types of plants and fungi each have the ability to hold in dampness, keeping the masonry it grows on wet. Large amounts of algae can also produce slime. When the weather reaches a certain temperature, these invasive species will dry out and leave behind ugly stains of green or orange.
Freezing and Thawing Creates Cracks
Over the course of the winter, moisture absorbed by mortar would have experienced a series of freezing and thawing. As mentioned in Ferguson Roofing’s Handling Masonry Damages In Cold Weather, “this causes an internal expansion and contraction effect” which will eventually cause the mortar to crack.
Poor Installation Results in Structural Damage
There is also a chance that the original masonry work was handled poorly. If too much weight is stacked without enough mortar, the entire structure can be at risk of collapsing. If you notice that your chimney is leaning or bending, call a professional to take a look at it right away.
Contacting a Professional
Speaking of professionals, look no further than Ferguson Roofing for your home exterior needs including tuckpointing and masonry. The rains and storms don’t stop and neither will we. Our expert representatives are excited to visit your home to offer a free estimate on damages and repairs. Call us at (314) 521-6917 for Missouri or (618) 212-1912 for Illinois.