If you stroll along the streets of St. Louis and its beautiful neighborhoods, you’ll find plenty of gorgeous architecture, especially homes and commercial buildings clad in brick. These structures, which have been standing for decades, often have incredible curbside appeal because of their masonry work, particularly tuckpointing. Without it, these buildings would easily crumble. But how often does tuckpointing need to be done? What are the signs that your brick home, business, or chimney needs tuckpointing services? Find out by reading our blog below:
What Is Tuckpointing?
Bricks are astoundingly durable materials; they can easily last a century. The mortar that holds them together, however, is a different story. While the binding material is essential for keeping bricks in place, it’s susceptible to the elements and takes a beating from rain, snow, and wind. This causes it to weaken, crumble, and fall off over time, which eventually can lead to part or all of the structure collapsing. Scary, right?
This is where tuckpointing comes in. This process involves removing and replacing old, damaged, and missing mortar from the brickwork. Once the deteriorated mortar is removed, the joints are filled with new mortar. It’s a delicate, painstaking process that requires the careful and precise hand of an expert. The result is stunning – and makes your structural integrity sturdy and solid once more!
What Causes Mortar to Deteriorate?
Like we mentioned earlier, bricks can withstand quite a lot, but mortar joints need more attention and care. After all, they’re the weakest parts of a brick wall. There are many reasons why mortar may crumble, deteriorate, or fail – here are the most common ones that we regularly see:
- Erosion from exposure to extreme temperatures and moisture
- Faulty workmanship and/or materials
- Pressure from the overhead weight of the bricks
- Burrowing insects and other pests
- Vines growing along the bricks
- Natural wear and tear
How Often Should Tuckpointing Be Done?
Okay, here’s the short answer: in general, tuckpointing should be done every 25-30 years. If you live in a humid climate that sees more rainfall, you might need to get tuckpointing done more frequently. On the other hand, if you live in a dry, arid climate, the mortar in your brick building might not need tuckpointing services as often. If you’re uncertain, you can always consult the experts at Ferguson Roofing!
Signs Your Property Needs Tuckpointing
There’s a good chance you want to run out and scrutinize every inch of your brick home or commercial building at this point. We don’t blame you! Before you do, keep in mind these telltale signs that your property might need quality tuckpointing services soon:
- You find cracks or signs of crumbling in your brick structure.
- There are holes or gaps in the mortar.
- You notice a whitish coating or a weathered/flakey surface on the mortar.
Finding any damage or defects is often easier once a structure is clean, so consider power washing your building before you inspect your brickwork. Remember, if you let mortar deteriorate without getting it repaired, you may need to invest in more costly brick repair or your structure could even collapse.
*Please note: A few hairline cracks might not necessarily mean you need to tuckpoint. If you’re concerned, call the professionals to inspect the masonry!
When in Doubt, Trust Ferguson Roofing
Whether your brick home or commercial building, chimney, or fireplace needs tuckpointing done, Ferguson Roofing has the expertise to get the job done right. Our team of experts works hard to ensure your historic home or building looks its absolute best and keeps your chimney standing strong for years. Let our 80 years of experience speak for itself! Call Ferguson Roofing today at (314) 521-6917 to learn more or schedule a free home evaluation!