Is Tuckpointing Necessary?

Our St. Louis homes are beautiful – some new, some old, but all full of character. Think of the house you grew up in, the middle school you went to, the office building you work from, and the current place you live. Just as we have grown up, so have our brick buildings. This is where tuckpointing comes in.

This job repairs the worn-out mortar between bricks. While bricks can last for up to a century, mortar has a lifespan of about 25 years. When mortar joints become damaged, it’s necessary to repair the affected areas with tuckpointing.

Reasons You Need Tuckpointing

There are telltale signs of when tuckpointing is needed. Recessed joints mean the mortar is going to dust and preventative maintenance is required. You don’t want water sitting in the recesses, as this creates further damage down the road.

Stress cracks are very common around windows and above doors. These cracks usually go through the mortar. Yet, you could have a stress crack that goes right through the bricks, in which case you’ll need the bricks replaced.

Mortar can fail for several reasons. Any water that sits in the mortar joint can freeze and expand in the winter, producing cracks. Harsh chemicals, like the burning oil and coal used in chimneys, can lead to corrosion over time. And problems with the original construction, like poorly mixed mortar, can lead to future issues.

With so many other things to do around the house, it can be tempting to put off tuckpointing. After all, it can feel like housework is never done. However, tuckpointing prevents:

  • water and insects from entering your home
  • wasps from building nests in-between layers of bricks
  • the face of the brick from falling off
  • rotting bricks from water damage

Going over what could go wrong makes it plain to see why the proper masonry repairs are a necessity.

How is Tuckpointing Done?

Here are the steps of tuckpointing, broken down to the basics. First, about an inch of the joint is removed. This is the line of mortar between the bricks. Tools used for this step can be a grinder, saw, or hammer and chisel. Then a tuckpointing bag, much like an icing bag used on a cake, is used to fill the mortar joint.

The next step is to wait for the mortar to set. How long it takes depends on the weather conditions and how much water the bricks have absorbed over the years. Stone, clay, and concrete bricks absorb different amounts of water, also affecting the drying time. Once dry, a finishing tool shapes the joint to be concave, v-shaped, flush with the brick, or more. Finally, a mason’s brush is used to clean the bricks.

What Ferguson Roofing Can Do

For best results, hire an expert in tuckpointing in St. Louis. At Ferguson Roofing, services include crack repairs and brick replacement, tuckpointing and repointing, waterproofing and sealing, and more. Count on our experts to match the color of the existing mortar and maintain the beautiful, unique style of your building.

Do you think the mortar on your residential or commercial building needs repair? Call us today at (314) 521-6917 to learn more or schedule a free evaluation!