Have you ever heard the term Tuckpointing and wondered exactly what that meant? It is commonly used as a generic “catch all” term referring to any repair or installation of masonry mortar joints. The earliest known derivative of the term Tuckpointing actually resulted from a very early process, whereas a line was formed in the mortar of very uneven bricks called a “tuck.” This technique was implemented in order to provide a more uniform look to the masonry.
The phrase Tuckpointing was coined in England in the late eighteenth century. At this time, it was defined as imitating the look of “rubbed bricks” or over sized, very precisely cut bricks. This was done by using a mortar color that closely matched “unrubbed bricks” and applying pipeclay or putty in between the wet joint. The purpose of this was to emulate the look of the over sized rubbed bricks, which had very fine/skinny joints compared to unrubbed bricks. The contrast of a shiny red brick face coupled with the fine white mortar joints created a very desirable appearance for the era.
As previously mentioned, Tuckpointing here in the U.S is commonly misused as an all encompassing term when discussing any repair or installation of masonry mortar joints. “Pointing” is actually the proper industry term to describe the act of repairing defects in newly constructed masonry eg filling gaps or imperfections during the finishing process.
“Repointing” on the other hand is the recourse of masonry repair that the majority of our customers call us expressing concerns about. Im sure you have all seen brick walls or chimneys in desperate need of this repair. If left unattended, the structure will ultimately fail. Afterall, bricks are only as good as the mortar that holds them together!!
Repointing, as opposed to Tuckpointing, is the process of removing deteriorated mortar joints to a desirable depth and repairing those joints with the appropriate mortar for those particular masonry units.
“Tuckpointing” is not the job for the “DIY expert” or an unqualified individual with no experience. A lack of knowledge and improper tools can lead to damage to the masonry units as a result of the removal process. In addition, using the incorrect mortar type or strength for your specific masonry can result in irreparable damage to the structure.
Hearthside Chimney & Masonry, serving the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky & South East Indiana areas are masonry experts and are glad to assist you with virtually any Tuckpointing or masonry restoration need that you may have. We are adept at all facets of Brick, Block & Stone restoration and construction and can even match your current masonry to a very acceptable level. Please contact us today for a free “Tuckpointing” or Repointing estimate!!