Stone and brick masonry is always a great choice for residential and commercial properties as it is virtually maintenance free. Professional masonry work can last up to 100 years and beyond. Mortar joints typically last for twenty to thirty years depending on the amount of exposure to different types of weather. The most common type of repair for mortar joints is tuckpointing. If you start to see cracks in your mortar, crumbling mortar, or evidence of water damage, it may be time to get an estimate on your property. The list below covers some general questions about tuckpointing:
1. What is Tuck-pointing?
Tuckpointing, refers to the process of repairing mortar joints in stone or brick masonry walls by grinding or raking out the old mortar to a certain depth, and then filling in with new mortar. Our masonry contractors can determine the scope of the work that needs to be done.
2. When to Tuck-point?
When you suspect your mortar is deteriorating and may need to be repaired, there is a simple test you can do before you call a masonry contractor. Take a key and rub it across the mortar joint and see if it scratches up powdered material, if it does, then you know you’re a candidate for tuckpointing. If the masonry is still good, a key should not be able to scratch it at all. Or you can call our contractors and they can evaluate the situation for you.
3. Why Tuck-point?
When mortar is in a weakened condition, it causes moisture to break down the stone or brick masonry wall and possibly cause moisture problems behind it. When tuckpointing is done properly, it provides a waterproof mortar joint that extends the life of the wall.
4. Another Good Reason to Tuck-point.
Tuckpointing saves a lot of money if you do it before it’s too late. If you don’t tuckpoint when your stone or brick wall needs it, the masonry wall will deteriorate to the point that the only fix is to tear it down and re-build.
5. When is it Too Late to Tuck-point?
Tuckpointing repair varies on a case by case basis, so if you feel that it may be time please call for a quote to be safe. You know it’s usually too late to tuckpoint when your masonry units (brick or stone) get loose. The only way to repair the situation at this point is to tear down the brick and stone masonry wall and relay the whole thing again. Tear down and relay will costs more money than tuckpointing the mortar joints before the property is too far gone.