Mortar is important to any residential and commercial brick structure because it provides an adhesive for the bricks and acts as a seal that prevents water and moisture from collecting within walls. It’s also an aesthetically pleasing divider that surrounds each individual brick. Unfortunately, the mortar is the weakest part of a brick wall. Years of erosion, weight, temperature, and moisture can cause the mortar to deteriorate and crack. Lost mortar affects the structural integrity of the wall and bricks no longer meet neatly. Tuckpointing is the procedure professionals use to replace and strengthen the joints between the bricks.
What Is Tuckpointing and How Is It Done?
Tuckpointing is a process that requires the deteriorating mortar in a brick structure be removed and replaced. Homeowners may see this as a do-it-yourself project, but many exterior brick walls are load bearing structures. This adds a further level of complication that is best left to a professional who can protect the structure’s integrity.
First, the existing mortar is removed to the depth of an inch, and all dust and debris are removed. This is done using an angle grinder, which is quicker and more accurate than the old method of hammer and chisel.
Next, new mortar is mixed to match the existing brick color and filled in horizontal and then vertical joints. This is another area where a trained professional is required, as it’s easy to mar the outer face of bricks with mortar.
After wet mortar has been applied to the joints, it’s smoothed either to be flush with the bricks or slightly indented depending on the desired look. While the mortar is beginning to harden, the mason will use a straightedge, handheld tuckpointing tool to scrape straight lines in the centers of the newly filled joints. Lime putty is carefully applied to these scored lines to provide structure and protect against moisture and corrosion.
Is It Ever Too Late to Tuckpoint?
Mortar isn’t meant to last forever and if you let the damage continue for long enough, the loss of mortar can loosen brick. Once you start losing bricks from the structure, the only remedy is to tear down the wall partially or entirely and start over again. This is an expensive and time consuming process, which is why it’s important to have your structure inspected periodically and assessed for damage by a trained professional.
Call Frederic Roofing for Professional Tuckpointing Services
Depending on the size of the wall, tuckpointing work is a labor-intensive project that requires extreme precision. The slightest inaccuracy or miscalculation could severely damage the wall, resulting in a range of problems such as a damaged wall face or, in the case of a load-bearing wall, loss of structural integrity.
This is why tuckpointing is a job best left to professionals, and there’s no better masonry contractor in the St. Louis area than Frederic Roofing. We can assess the damage to your brick structures, assess how it impacts your roof, and develop a comprehensive plan to make sure your building or wall is protected and looking great.
If you’re looking to protect your chimney and home from the outside elements or unwanted creatures, tuckpointing your roof could be exactly what you need. Request an estimate or give us a call today to learn more about tuckpointing costs and how Frederic Roofing Company has been tuckpointing St. Louis homes and businesses for years.