No masonry structure can last forever without regular maintenance.
Tuckpointing commercial buildings is one of the projects we do most frequently. We get a lot of questions about this job, so we wrote this post to give you the answers to some of the most common ones.
Why is tuckpointing important?
While the masonry of a building can last a very long time without repair, mortar joints do not last quite so long. Those mortar joints are the only things keeping water from finding its way inside the masonry of your building. After enough time passes, water can infiltrate your building’s structure and cause serious damage. Tuckpointing prevents that from happening.
How is tuckpointing done?
Tuckpointing is done by routing out (removing) the old mortar to a uniform depth. Then, new mortar is placed into the joint. We use particular care to mix the new mortar to seamlessly replicate the texture and look of the old mortar—just without the damage.
When do you need tuckpointing?
Over time, temperature fluctuations and weather conditions will wear away the mortar in the joins of a masonry wall. If left unchecked, water will eventually penetrate the mortar joints and cause more damage. When you see some worn or crumbling mortar, it’s time to start thinking about tuckpointing.
How often do you need tuckpointing?
Usually, mortar will last twenty to thirty years. That lifespan changes depending on the climate and exposure of the wall. Mortar joints exposed to very harsh weather conditions might wear away quicker, increasing the chance for leaks. That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for damage.
Rather than replacing all your mortar at once, we recommend looking at tuckpointing as ongoing preventative care for your commercial building. Periodically replacing worn, damaged mortar as it deteriorates will prolong the life of your building and prevent you from paying all at once for a whole-building mortar overhaul.
What if you notice loose brick?
That’s bad news. Once you start losing bricks, you’re looking at having to rebuild the masonry. This is both expensive and time consuming, and you may need to temporarily close down your business during the rebuilding process.
Remember, tuckpointing now saves you money.
Nobody looks forward to another expense, but trust us when we say that putting off tuckpointing is an expensive idea. It’s far better to pay a little bit now than to pay a lot when an entire wall needs to be replaced, or all the mortar on your building exterior.
Have more questions about tuckpointing, how we do it, or whether your building needs it? Give us a call, and let’s have a conversation.