Why Is It Called Tuckpointing?

Why is it called tuckpointing? Many stunning Nashville homes include masonry fireplaces and chimneys. Fireplaces are highly desired features that simply elevate a home. The design itself increases the appeal of your home. 

However, masonry chimneys cannot last forever. Over time, harsh Nashville weather conditions and moisture can damage masonry. Once water gets into mortar joints, it weakens them and must be addressed. 

Tuckpointing is a mortar repair process used to stop the damage and restore your chimney. 

Here’s what you need to know about tuckpointing. 

What is Tuckpointing?

It is a strategy used to renew mortar joints. This method used two different mortar colors. The first color is meant to match the bricks, while the second is for the aesthetic of mortar joints. Tuckpointing sandwiches the colors to create fine mortar joints. 

This method has been around since the 18th century! Originally, it was used to achieve a similar look as fine red bricks cut by hand and laid with white mortar. Tuckpointing is a far less expensive way to achieve the same effect. 

Where did the term “Tuckpointing” come from?

Before tuckpointing, there was a technique that was used to deal with uneven bricks. A “tuck”, or think, the line was drawn in the mortar and left unfilled to make the brickwork appear excellent. 

When is tuckpointing used?

Brickwork is known for being long-lasting, but it still requires upkeep. While the bricks can last up to 100 years, the mortar will not last nearly as long. When masonry is exposed to harsh weather, it can last up to 25 years. The more water the mortar is exposed to, the faster it will erode. 

If mortar joints sustain damage, they must be addressed quickly to prevent structural issues. Tuckpointing is a cost-effective way to repair mortar joints. If not repaired, the mortar joints will deteriorate to the point where the chimney collapses and requires a rebuild. Tuckpointing repair is far less expensive than a total rebuild. 

Tuckpointing vs Repointing

Tuckpointing and repointing are related, but they are not the same process. Tuckpointing is the layering of mortar colors used to achieve an aesthetic rubbed brick look. Repointing is repairing the damaged masonry. During repointing, the cracked mortar is removed and then replaced with a new mortar. 

Essentially tuckpointing is part of repointing. You do not have to tuckpoint (sandwich the mortar colors) to repair mortar joints, but experienced masons use tuckpointing as part of repointing to achieve the best look possible. 

Benefits

The best masons use tuckpointing when repointing your masonry. The top benefits of tuckpointing include:

  • Stop mortar joint corrosion. 
  • Stabilize the chimney structure. Damaged mortar joints weaken the chimney integrity, eventually leading to collapse. 
  • Prevent water from entering the chimney. Water can seep into damaged mortar joints and get between the chimney and flue lining, causing serious damage. 
  • Cost-effective solution compared to a rebuild. 
  • Restore your chimney masonry to its original condition. 
  • Improve the value of your home. 

Signs Your Mortar Needs Repair

Mortar can show signs of damage as early as 20 years. Keep a close eye on your mortar to ensure you address any damage quickly. Signs of mortar joint damage include:

  • Crumbling mortar.
  • Hairline cracks present in the mortar. 
  • Gaps or cracks between bricks and mortar. 
  • 6mm or more of mortar erosion. 

If you notice any of the signs above, your mortar may require repair. The earlier you can address the mortar damage, the better. Early intervention is key for keeping your chimney in the best shape possible for as long as possible. 

Do you need tuckpointing?

Is it right for you?

The only way to know for sure is to consult a professional. The knowledgeable team here at the Chimney and Masonry Outfitters of Nashville will examine your chimney and determine if tuckpointing is a good fit for you. 

We have years of experience helping Nashville homeowners with all of their chimney, masonry, and fireplace needs, including tuckpointing. You can always count on our team for a job well done and the best customer care in the area. Our team is CSIA-certified and more than willing to discuss our previous work. We will answer all your questions and provide you with a personalized quote based on your unique needs. 

For the best tuckpointing in Nashville, look no further than CMO. Learn more about our tuckpointing services or schedule an appointment today by contacting us at (615) 823-8268 or OFFICE@CMOUTFITTERS.COM