Any homeowner that lives in a home built of brick, is most likely familiar with tuck pointing. Bricks are held together with mortar and over time that mortar wears out. When this happens your house will start to develop exterior cracks and this is when some serious damage can occur. However, may homeowners have possibly never heard of tuck pointing. So what exactly is tuck pointing and how is it performed?
Tuck pointing has been around since the first brick home was built. Brick, although a very sturdy and attractive material to build home with, required some temporary upkeep. The mortar that holds bricks together does not last forever. Like anything else, it breaks down over time. When this happens the appearance of cracks in the exterior walls can be quite concerning to all home owners. Fear not. There is a solution…tuck pointing. The first step in tuck pointing is removing the old, deteriorating mortar. There are many was to do this, including a simple hammer and chisel, however the most common practice in this day and age is the use of an electric grinder. This is much quicker and labor intensive than using a hammer and chisel. Once all the old mortar is removed, a hose is used to blast out any remaining mortar dust in preparation for the new material.
After the mortar has been completely removed from the affected wall, the next step is to replace it with new mortar. This is a very skilled process and only the most trusted tuck pointers should be allowed to do this to your home. A messy tuck pointing job will greatly reduce the appeal of your brick home. Always seek out a respected tuck pointer. The new mortar is applied with an awl and a scraper to ensure that it is even and looking clean. New mortar dries relatively quickly and a complete tuck pointing job can actually be completed within a day. However, large buildings or homes can take several days or weeks to complete.
So when should I get my house tuck pointed? If your home is built of brick and you notice any cracks in the mortar or brickwork, it is time to call a tuck pointer pronto! Cracks will not get better on their own and will only get worse. In extreme cases, a partial collapse is possible and then you are looking at major repair costs, not to mention the possibility of your home being condemned. Nobody wants to deal with that. Also, cracks in the exterior of your home allow moisture to wreak havoc on your home. Water is meant to be outside, not inside your house. The destructive nature of water is extensive and would require an entire article all for itself. Cracks also allow creatures of all kinds to enter your home. Small cracks are great places for insects to enter your home and take up residence. Larger cracks allow squirrels, birds, mice, and a whole zoo to enter your home.
So the moral of the story is to get those cracks taken care of immediately. As mentioned above, they will only get worse over time. Tuck pointing, although not the sexiest topic when it comes to home ownership, is a necessary part of owning a brick home. Good luck with those cracks!