Maintaining a Brick Home with Tuckpointing
Brick homes and homes that have brick elements like a chimney, wall, or outside decorative details can last for a very long time. In fact, when cared for properly brick homes can well outlast several generations of homeowners.
Bricks are not completely indestructible, however. They are susceptible to moisture and other damage brought on by the weather. There are some things a homeowner can do to maintain their brick home or brick details. One method is tuckpointing.
What is Tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing is a process of removing and repairing tired or worn mortar joints in between bricks. Most often mortar joints become worn out with structural stress and constant exposure to harsh conditions.
Tuckpointing not only brings a more pleasing look to the mortar joints between the brick it also helps to bring back some structural integrity to a brick structure. It can prevent walls from becoming weak and restore a better seal for repelling moisture.
When Should Someone Do Tuckpointing?
The method of tuckpointing works best as preventive maintenance. There are some signs to look out for that will tell you when it is a good time to do tuckpointing. These signs include cracked, broken, or missing areas of mortar. if the bricks themselves are cracked or crumbling this deserves immediate attention.
When the mortar is used properly it will not need to be replaced for about 30 years depending upon the weather and exposure to elements. Water absorbed by brick and mortar causes expansion.
Is Tuckpointing a DIY Job?
Some tuckpointing projects can be fairly simple and managed by any homeowner with a little bit of learning. Make sure to look up how to tuckpoint properly to discover the proper tools and techniques needed for the job. Often it can be pretty straightforward and done just as easily as other routine maintenance around the home.
When You Need Professional Help
Some tuckpointing jobs may be larger than the everyday person should handle. Such as in the case of a complete brick needing repair, especially if the brick is on an exterior wall of the home.
When hiring professional help make sure to ask specific questions about a contractor or mason's experience with tuckpointing. Also, ask them about their ability and method of matching the new mortar color to the existing one. You do not want two different colors of mortar.
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