If the three little pigs taught us anything, it’s that brick is definitely stronger than hay or sticks. But that doesn’t mean brick structures are impervious to damage. When you find the mortar in between your bricks needs to be replaced, you’ll likely need to repair the wall with a masonry technique called “tuckpointing.”
What is Tuckpointing?
In the most basic terms, tuckpointing is the process of removing damaged mortar in between bricks and replacing it with new, healthy mortar. Using a hammer and a chisel, you remove the old mortar from the joints, fill the joints with new mortar using a tuckpointing bag, take a finishing tool to shape your joint (concave, flushed, v-shaped, etc.), and finally clean off the wall with a mason’s brush to remove any unsightly residue.
Sounds easy, right?
You may be unpleasantly surprised to learn how difficult tuckpointing can be if you want it done well. One of the hardest parts of tuckpointing is making sure the new mortar matches the color and density of the older mortar to make sure everything blends together smoothly. For this, it’s usually best to have a trained eye who has plenty of experience working with the tools needed for the job.
When Would You Need Tuckpointing?
When it comes to brick wall repair, there are a few reasons why tuckpointing becomes necessary. First, you may have sections where the joints in between the bricks are starting to turn to dust and you’re seeing some flushed or concave joints starting to resemble recessed joints. One of the problems with recessed joints is it can lead to water building up in the joints causing further damage to the wall down the road.
Another problem is when you see stress cracks forming in the brick, particularly above windows and doors. This will require removing any cracked bricks from the wall and replacing them using tuckpointing during the process. More than just being “ugly,” stress cracks can eventually turn into a structural issue and they should be addressed sooner rather than later.
A Final Word of Warning
It’s important to note that not every company specializes in tuckpointing, so you need to be sure that you’re working with trusted professionals who are right for the job you need. Luckily, Chimney & Masonry Outfitters hires qualified and trained employees who are experts in tuckpointing, so if you’re located in Nashville, call us today to schedule your appointment!