Over time, mortar joints in a brick building can deteriorate and allow water to seep into your building. If left unchecked, water infiltration can cause significant damage over time.
To prevent such damage, it’s important to periodically perform tuckpointing on any brick building to maintain a watertight exterior.
Signs of masonry deterioration
In most cases, the need for tuckpointing can be seen with a quick visual inspection of your building’s exterior. Look for any visible cracks, gaps, or holes in the mortar. You can also look for a whitish substance on the bricks, which sometimes occurs because the deteriorating mortar transfers onto the front of the masonry.
In some cases, you may need to clean the exterior before you can truly assess the condition of the masonry. Still other times, special tools can be used to assess the strength of the existing mortar and determine if tuckpointing is needed.
The tuckpointing process
The process involves removing old mortar, cleaning the area well, and then filling in new mortar between the bricks. While it seems like a simple process, it does require skill and experience for a quality result.
First, it’s important to remove the right amount of mortar without damaging the surrounding brick.
Second, the process of matching a new mortar color to the old weathered mortar can be a bit complex depending on how old the mortar is. An experienced masonry restoration professional will know the steps necessary to ensure a good color match for the mortar.
How often tuckpointing should be done
Masonry can be affected by wind, hail, rain, chemicals, heat, and much more. How often you need to repair masonry joints will depend on all of those factors, but all masonry will require tuckpointing eventually. In general, most masonry will last about 25 years before tuckpointing is necessary, but that time span can be shorter depending on weather conditions and the quality of the materials.
If you think your building may need tuckpointing or other masonry repair, it’s best to consult an experienced professional. At JK Industries, we have extensive experience with masonry restoration and would be happy to discuss your needs.