When mortar joints become damaged, the best course of action is to repair them using tuck pointing. Without proper attention, damaged mortar joints can cause structural collapse, risking the integrity of your home or property. Our amazing team at Brick + Ember Outfitters has the experience, attention to detail, and skill to handle any tuck pointing job, regardless of where your repairs are required. We work on all kinds of masonry structures, including walls, chimneys, and more.

What is Tuck Pointing?

Tuck pointing is a complicated and fiddly process that involves the use and sandwiching of two different colors of mortar in order to fill cracks or missing mortar joints. As mortar joints decay or become damaged, gaps and spaces can occur between the bricks, resulting in structural problems. Our skilled masons use two colors of mortar, one matched to the color of your brick, the other matched to the color of your original mortar.

Our masons begin by removing old mortar and cleaning the joint so as to have maximum space for new mortar and to ensure a clean and uniform look. Once cleaned out, the joints are filled with alternating layers of mortar, designed to keep mortar joints looking thin as opposed to thick. By using two colors of mortar, our masons are able to create a beautiful result that will match your original masonry. This method was developed in Europe during the late 18th century as a way of making regular masonry look more expensive. Though not considered an emblem of wealth today, tuck pointing remains a beautiful and desirable method of repairing damaged mortar joints.

Benefits of Tuck Pointing

Though tuck pointing is a necessary procedure used to preserve masonry structures, plenty of homeowners are unaware of the many benefits of having this procedure done. When you hire Brick + Ember Outfitters to tuck point your damaged mortar joints you are getting more than a simple repair. Some of the benefits of tuck pointing include:

  • Restored structural integrity. As mortar joints wear and weaken, the structure of your entire chimney, wall, or other masonry structure becomes compromised. By repairing using a tuck pointing method, you are able to return your chimney or wall to its original glory and strength.
  • Prevent leaks and water damage. Damaged mortar joints allow water to enter your chimney or wall system, often times creating a bigger problem than there was before. Moisture and water buildup can affect your home beyond the masonry, creating mildew, mold, and rotting wood issues that can cost thousands to fix. Tuckpointing seals these vulnerable points, preventing water from wreaking havoc on your home.
  • You give your structure a new life. Tuckpointing not only repairs the damage but returns your masonry structure to new. Where old mortar joints would have continued to decay and disintegrate, your newly repaired joints will have a much longer, healthier life.
  • Increased home value. Structurally sound masonry will help your home’s value be maintained, or even raise its initial value.
  • More cost-effective than a teardown and rebuild.

When are Repairs Necessary?

Though masonry structures can last over a century, the issue often lies in the mortar. Your bricks may be able to withstand a hundred years without any repair, but often times, mortar begins to break down as a result of water, weather, and other external factors between 20 and 30 years. While in rare cases the entirety of the structure may require replacement, often times, tuck pointing the affected areas can give your masonry structure a new life.

When are repairs necessary? There are a few key signs you can look for to know whether or not your mortar is in need of repair.

  • Crumbling: If your mortar has begun to crumble, or you see missing mortar between bricks, this is a good sign you may require repairs.
  • 6mm or more of mortar erosion can also be a sign that your mortar joints are beginning to decay.
  • Hairline fractures or larger cracks in the mortar indicate structural problems and erosion.
  • Brick loss, cracks, or gaps in brick. If the brick is beginning to be affected, your mortar is likely in need of major repair. In some cases, tuck pointing may still be a viable option, but often times mortar joints that have decayed to such a point will require a full rebuild.

How it is Done

Once you have determined that your mortar joints require repair, your Brick + Ember Outfitters specialist will do the following:

  • Removal of damaged and old mortar. This step requires your mason to grind out and remove all old and damaged mortar, creating a uniform depth and width that will allow for the necessary repairs to take place.
  • Next, your mason will fill in the gaps between your bricks with red mortar, specially chosen to match the color of your brick.
  • Once red mortar has been placed, thin strips will be removed from the center of the red mortar, forming a trench or groove between the two sides.
  • The last step to tuck pointing is to fill the red mortar trench with mortar that matches the original mortar color. This method will allow for uniform thin mortar joints without needing to fully replace any brick.

Whether you live in Avon, Noblesville, Lawrence, Greenwood, or anywhere in between, Brick + Ember Outfitters will be happy to help! Give us a call or visit our website to learn more about tuck pointing, and how we can help preserve your masonry.