Quick Fixes for Brickwork
Using tuck pointing to repair brick mortar joints gives the appearance of fine joints. Over a period of time, the brick mortar deteriorates. Tuck pointing removes and replaces the deteriorated mortar. New mortar is closely matched to the original mortar which matches the color of the brickwork. Then, a fine line of contrasting putty is placed down the center of the joint to give the appearance of fine joints. Tuck pointing is usually performed on old buildings or homes to repair damaged mortar joints in existing brickwork. Many times the bricks may be in good condition. However, in some cases, entire bricks, as well as the mortar, are repaired or replaced. Mentioned below are a few tuck pointing terms.
Pointing is the process that involves filling mortar joints during new brickwork construction. It also refers to the actual mortar joints, aka the spaces between bricks, within a finished brickwork wall.
Re-pointing is the process of removing damaged mortar from joints by replacing it with new mortar. This part of the process does not involve adding the thin line of putty that is part of the tuck pointing process.
The tuck pointing process involves removing deteriorated mortar from the brickwork joints by replacing it with new mortar closely matched to the color of existing brickwork. Once the mortar is replaced, thin lines of contrasting putty are placed down the center of the new joints. This gives the appearance of fine mortar joints. Though the tuck pointing and re-pointing terms are commonly interchanged, they are two different processes.
DIY Instructions for a quick fix brick repair project
Quick fixes for brickwork are often attempted by do-it-yourself, aka DIY, enthusiasts. Typically, quick fixes involve purchasing the necessary mortar mix, brushes, caulking tube, and applicator tool. Prepare the mortar joints using a hammer and chisel to remove any deteriorated mortar to a depth of less than an inch. It is suggested to use a ¼ to ¾ inch depth but deeper depths may be required. For DIY mortar projects, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves. Use firm pressure when applying the caulking tube. Avoid rust stains by using a synthetic brush instead of a wire brush. Before the hardening phase, most mortar repair products can be safely removed with a damp cloth.
However, to obtain optimum results for large projects, mortar repair should be performed by skilled experts. Whether the repair work involves interior or exterior brickwork, the ultimate goal is to achieve expert looking results. For large projects, hire a tuck pointing professional. DIY projects will cost more than $1 per square foot not including tool rental. Professional tuck pointing rates can cost between $9 to $15 dollars per square foot.
Hiring a Tuck Pointer
Hire a professional tuck pointer using recommendations and references. Check their credentials and ask for written estimates and a written contract. Check for licenses, bonding, and insurance. Ensure that they are reputable and qualified to perform the service. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).