Tuckpointing is the process of repairing masonry joints where gaps have occurred due to weathering or deterioration of the mortar over time.
In most cases, the mortar holding brick or stone masonry together will need to be repaired long before the bricks or stones need repair. But ignoring problems with the mortar can lead to problems with the brick or stone, so it’s important to take care of any mortar deterioration quickly.
How do I know if my mortar needs repair?
The most obvious sign that your mortar needs repair is when chunks of mortar are missing from around your bricks. However, subtler signs can include mortar that is beginning to flake and fall away from the brick.
An easy test is to take a key and run it across the mortar. If mortar falls off in small pieces or as a powder, it’s time to call a professional to talk about tuckpointing.
What are the benefits of tuckpointing?
There are two main benefits to tuckpointing: maintaining the structural integrity of your building and maintaining the look of the exterior facade.
As mortar continues to deteriorate, it allows more water to seep into the masonry and potentially inside your building. That water causes further deterioration, which can lead to costly repairs if the damage begins to impact the bricks or stones. Tuckpointing repairs any gaps and helps seal the masonry to prevent water from further damaging your building.
Gaps and cracks in mortar can be unsightly on the exterior of your building. Proper tuckpointing by a qualified professional will match the existing mortar so that the repairs blend with the remainder of the building and help maintain the aesthetics of the building.
Tuckpointing also saves money compared to the cost of full masonry repairs or replacement. As with many building maintenance tasks, it’s much better to conduct regular maintenance and repair minor issues before major issues develop.
If you think your mortar may be deteriorating, call a qualified professional to assess the condition of your masonry and discuss options for tuckpointing.