The process of replacing deteriorated or cracked mortar is most commonly known as tuckpointing. Tuckpointing is necessary at some point on all masonry homes and buildings. This process is used as a preventative maintenance measure to avoid structural damage, that is more difficult to repair. It is ideal to repair any signs of cracking/deterioration before more significant damage has a chance to set in.
The Purpose of Tuckpointing:
All masonry deteriorates over time. When this occurs, holes or cracks develop in the mortar joints, allowing water to get inside the masonry or brickwork. During Wisconsin’s freezing winters, water trapped inside the structure will freeze and expand, which can cause a significant amount of damage. Tuckpointing is required periodically, to ensure masonry is water resistant and long lasting.
The initial step for a tuckpointing project is to find the areas of the masonry that require repair, and remove the existing mortar. Mortar will need to be replaced if it is cracked or starting to deteriorate. The most common tool used for this is an angle grinder with a diamond blade, which is used to grind out the mortar joints to a proper depth. Once ground out, the joints are thoroughly cleaned to ensure proper bonding
Importance of Mortar Matching:
To ensure professional, long lasting results, new mortar must match the existing in strength, color, texture, and tooling. If the mortar used is to hard it could put excessive stress on the bricks, causing them to crack. This will lead to irreversible damage which is not as easily repaired. Additionally, it is important for tuckpointing repairs to blend in seamlessly with the existing masonry for an aesthetically pleasing repair.