Tuckpointing is the process of removing deteriorated or damaged mortar joints and replacing them with clean, new mortar. First, old mortar is grinded out from between the existing bricks. The grinding is performed to a depth of approximately ½” to ¾” to ensure all damaged mortar and debris is removed.
Once the old mortar has been properly grinded away the area is cleared and new mortar is applied. Color matching the new mortar is important to make sure that your new mortar blends with your existing brickwork as closely as possible. Mortar mix is combined with water and applied by hand using trowels, grout bags, and jointers.
Once new mortar is applied any excess mortar is removed using a masonry brush and the new mortar is shaped using pointers and rakers to provide a clean visual effect. Once the mortar dries it is cleaned and washed to give the brick structure a neat and proper appearance.
Tuckpointing is an important and necessary process because over time the mortar joints on brickwork may erode, crack, or chip off due to water penetration, weathering, excessive vibration, or structural stress. Worn or damaged bricks and mortar joints have a higher probability of experiencing water and moisture penetration that can cause further damage and structural issues.
Grinding out and tuckpointing damaged mortar joints maintains and improves the structural integrity of any brick fixture and is a relatively low-cost option compared to fully rebuilding a wall or chimney. If a home or building is neglected and cracks continue to spread then the bricks and mortar will continue to crumble which can create personal safety and structural integrity issues.
Tuckpointing can resolve a lot of aesthetic and structural masonry issues before they become overly expensive or unsafe. Tuckpointing is a cost-effective repair and it should be considered part of regular maintenance on any brick home, structure, or building.