A brick wall in bad need of tuckpointing. Don't let your walls get in this condition.

Step 1-Evaluate the old mortar removal process

Old mortar removal is accomplished by either grinding, chiseling or hand raking

the deteriorated mortar from the joints to a minimum depth of 5/8”.  Then the joints

are either hand brushed or blown out to remove dust and debris to insure a strong bond

with new mortar.

Step 2-Repointing procedure
Once the joints are cut out and properly cleaned, new mortar can be applied to the

joint with a jointer.  There are many different joint styles available.  Concave, flat,

weathered, raked and grapevine just to name a few are often used.  Mortar type is also a

big factor in Tuckpointing.  Historic homes often used softer brick than the units

available today. These soft brick cannot tolerate the high compression strength of

Portland rich mortars used in present masonry construction.  This hard mortar

commonly causes the soft brick to give way when settling, expansion and contraction,

and other movements occur which result in spawled or sheared brick faces, severe

cracking, and chipped brick edges.  To avoid these problems a lower compression

strength lime mortar must be used.  Color match Tuckpointing is an art that is

accomplished by highly experienced masons who can break down the mortar to find out

what was originally used.  Type of sand and tooling techniques play a dominant role in

proper matching of mortar.  This process can be a time consuming but rewarding task

when the project is completed. Once the joints have been pointed and properly brushed

the curing process begins.

Step 3-Cleaning process

Once the joints have cured it is time to determine if a cleaning procedure should be

performed.  There are endless masonry cleaning products and procedures, we use the

prosoco brand.  Prosoco carries a wide variety of masonry detergents, acids, restoration

cleaners, mold killer, efflorescence removers and white scum removers to bring grungy

looking building or homes back to their original beauty.

Step 4- Waterproofing

To get the best performance it is always recommended that a sealer is applied after

tuckpointing, replacing brick, replacing stone,  new brick, new stone on parapet walls,

chimneys, or any other masonry unit that is exposed to the elements.  Not all sealers are

created equal! Please do not be fooled into a low quality sealer sold at the home

improvement stores, they simply do not last. If a contactor tries to apply something of

this nature to your building, simply refuse these products. A breathable, silicon based 

sealer such as prosoco Siloxane PD is a high quality product that goes on clear so there

are no shiny, discolored, or patchy looking areas after application.  This product has

been tested to last for up to 10 yrs. In even the harshest environments.  This is a

breathable sealer which means if water were to enter the wall through a hole or crack it

can still escape.

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The Backround Picture is a Wall That Needs Tuckpointing

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     Tuckpointing can be defined as the removal and replacement of old crumbled mortar

between bricks and stones. Tuckpointing is also known as repointing or just pointing.

All three terms are often used interchangeably to describe the complete process of

restoring older masonry joints.

The following definitions of these terms have been recommended by The Brick Institute

of America:

Point - to place plastic mortar into joints to correct defects or to completely fill joints in newly

laid masonry.

Repoint - to place plastic mortar into cut or raked joints to correct defective mortar joints

in masonry.

Tuckpoint - to point masonry with a flush mortar joint that approximates the color

of the masonry units and a mortar of contrasting color that is shaped into a

thin strip. (2) see repoint.

Why Tuckpointing?

The most common reason is to remove loose or cracked mortar from brickwork or

stone installations. The longevity of mortar joints will vary with the exposure conditions

and the mortar materials used, but a lifespan of more than 25 years is typical. Persistent

damage from water, sun, acids in the rain, changing temperatures, building settlement,

impact damage, and dirt take their toll. Damaged mortar joints become a waterproofing

problem, and eventually a structural issue, if not repaired. When visual inspection

reveals that the mortar joints are cracking or otherwise deteriorated, restoration is

necessary to help maintain the integrity of wall systems and products.

Tuckpointing and repointing are two effective ways of ensuring structural integrity and

decreasing water entry into masonry.

As well as old structures tuckpointing can also be used for newer jobs where mortar may

have been damaged or needs to be replaced because of different problems with color or

finish. In these instances mortar for tuckpointing must be carefully selected to ensure

that the color and texture of the new mortar closely matches the existing material that

was not compromised and did not need to be removed.