If you’re familiar with masonry terms, you’ve probably heard of tuckpointing and repointing of bricks, as the two are often used interchangeably. They both involve digging out mortar joints to a certain extent and refilling them with new mortar. While they’re both methods used for repairing mortar joints in brick structures, the process is slightly different for each. The biggest difference being that repointing involves removing the damaged mortar completely and replacing it, while tuckpointing will fill in the mortar to repair it as necessary. So how do you know if tuckpointing or repointing is the best method for your brick building? We’re here to break down the differences between the two, and the signs to look out for to determine if you’re in need of mortar repairs.
What is Tuckpointing Brick?
Tuckpointing is a method used for mortar repair that dates back to the late 18th century, where it was first invented and used in England. It was used to recreate the look of rubbed brick, which was a more expensive material and became quite popular during this time period. For homeowners that wanted to imitate the high-end appearance of rubbed bricks, they used tuckpointing as a method to achieve a similar appearance for a lower cost. This is what created the process of tuckpointing, where two different colors of mortar are used to fill in the mortar joints of brick masonry. The first color is made to match the bricks to create a seamless appearance, while the second is used for the appearance of the mortar joints. By mixing the two colors, it creates an impression that the mortar joints are very fine. Tuckpointing is a method used for repairs, but is also used to upgrade the appearance of the mortar joints. This is the main difference between tuckpointing and repointing; Tuckpointing isn’t just used for damage control.
What is Repointing Brick?
If your mortar joints are cracked and crumbled, they’ll likely need repointing. This refers to the process of actually filling and repairing the damaged joints. Repointing is extremely important if your building’s mortar joints are damaged, as the joints are what holds the entire structure together. After a repointing service, your mortar joints will be brand new, making them safe and aesthetically pleasing, too!
Why does Masonry Mortar Need Maintenance?
Although brick is a material that is proven to stand the test of time, they still require maintenance. The mortar joints will experience natural wear and tear as a result of weather and other factors. They’ll likely start to show signs of wear and tear somewhere between 20-30 years. So what are the signs to look for?
- More than 6mm of mortar erosion is visible
- Hairline cracks are forming in the mortar
- Cracks of gaps between the bricks and mortar are forming
Most mortar joints will require repointing, which is actually preferred. Using the original mortar joints will leave you with a more cohesive and natural look.
Contact us for Repointing, Tuckpointing & Masonry Repairs in Boston MA
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to get in contact with the professionals! ESI Waterproofing & Masonry Restoration, Inc. provides quality brick repointing and tuckpointing services for commercial buildings in the Boston area. With more than 30 years of experience, we’ve established ourselves as leaders in the industry, and our many clients can attest to the quality of our work. With expert craftsmanship and state-of-the-art equipment, we can effectively complete projects of all sizes. Get in contact with us today to learn more about our masonry repair services or request a quote!