What is the Difference Between Repointing and Tuckpointing?

Although they do not mean exactly the same thing, the words tuckpointing and repointing are often used interchangeably in the masonry industry. Obviously, there are times when this leads to some confusion. It is important to understand the difference these terms convey and what they mean for professionals in the industry as well as for their clients.

While it is true repointing and tuckpointing both involve adding new mortar joints to a brick structure, the methods have subtle differences. As a home or business owner, if you discover your chimney or wall has some mortar damage and is in need of repair, you must determine whether tuckpointing or repointing work is needed to address the problem.

Repointing is the actual process of removing damaged mortar joints and renewing them. Tuckpointing is similar, but is not always completed for damage control. An important distinction to note is that tuckpointing by definition is a style using two different colors of mortar in order to alter the appearance of mortar joints.

Repointing involves actually repairing joints on brickwork that have been damaged or crumbled. The mortar joints are very important, because they are necessary to support the structure. When mortar joints are affected by damage it is easy for water and other elements to seep into the brickwork. Over time the exposed areas will erode away. To prevent further harm, repointing is administered to reseal mortar joints.

Tuckpointing involves using two different shades of mortar to fill in mortar joints of brickwork. One of the two colors used for tuckpointing is created to match the bricks so that it will blend in seamlessly. The other color used is always different, and is made for the appearance of mortar joints. Tuckpointing has been around for years, having been invented in the 1700s in Europe. It is a good way for homeowners to save some money by copying the appearance of high-end bricks rather than spending money on new ones.

Brick masonry is solid and has proven it can stand the test of time. However, it still must be cared for and maintained. A sturdy brick wall can last for a century without any repairs, but mortar joints may begin to show signs of wear after 20 to 30 years. If mortar joints are crumbly or showing signs of damage they will need to be repaired right away to prolong the strength of the masonry structure.

For any questions regarding repointing or tuckpointing please call the experts at Arrow Masonry today at 312-329-0750. They have over 50 years of experience and are the top choice in the Chicago area. Arrow knows what it takes to keep your masonry safe and looking its very best.

When Should Exterior Caulking Be Replaced?

During the winter in the midwestern United States, office buildings and other property are sometimes exposed to large temperature swings during short periods of time. Being below zero one day and near fifty degrees a day or so later is not that uncommon. Changeable weather like this is conducive to a freeze and thaw cycle, where we experience rain, snow, melting of ice and then re-freezing at night when the mercury drops once again. This frequent change in temperature can result in uncomfortable drafts or water damage to your home or office.

This is important because not only do drafty rooms and leaky areas make your office space feel less than cozy, it also contributes to increased costs for heating and other utility bills. Obviously, it is a good idea to jump on these issues before they become a larger problem and require major repair.

Replacing Exterior Caulking

To guard against this occurring to your structure, it is highly recommended you inspect exterior caulking of your building on a regular basis to see if it needs to be serviced or possibly even replaced. Make checking on the caulked areas surrounding all your doors and windows a regular routine, at least once a month. If you notice any caulk that appears to be cracking, pulling away from the window frame or door jambs or is completely missing, it is a good bet you need to have the caulking replaced.

Replacing or repairing caulk can be a difficult task, so it is best to have a tuckpointing professional complete the job unless you have knowledge of the work involved. We are located in Palatine and service the entire Chicago metropolitan area, and we know the importance of caulking your building to keep out leaks and drafts. We are professional and experienced and make use of a variety of sealant products depending on your particular needs. Polyurethane, silicone, and other types of caulk are used to form a waterproof barrier to all joints to prevent leakage and drafts.

For any specific questions regarding caulking repair or replacement please call Arrow Masonry today at (312) 329-0750. Arrow has over 50 years of experience working on large, industrial buildings or smaller homes and knows what it takes to keep your structure looking and functioning at top efficiency.

Repairing Brick Over 100 Years Old

In the world of modern architecture, there are few more impressive looking buildings than a stately home residence or a large office complex built of bricks. A structure erected with bricks presents itself as solid and strong, is aesthetically pleasing and exudes a sense of class and style to any neighborhood.  However, despite its well-deserved reputation of being solid and extremely durable, brickwork can and will fail if it is not maintained properly or is mistreated. This is especially true if the brick is over 100 years old. Additionally, repairs made using inappropriate cement mortars, among other things, can result in the breakdown of your brick structure.

How do you know if your brickwork needs a repair or upgrade? Just being old does not necessarily mean a repair is needed. Some common warning signs to look for include bricks that are beginning to crumble, are loose or missing pointing, walls that bulge in appearance, cracks through the brickwork and internal or external damp spots. Also keep in mind bricks that have spalled (deteriorated due to water seepage) are more susceptible to moisture penetration and may eventually lead to structural issues for the wall. Fortunately, there are a number of options when it comes to maintaining and repairing old brickwork.

Severely damaged bricks can simply be cut out and replaced. Any replacement bricks should match as closely as possible in size, durability and texture as the original bricks and should be laid in the same manner. You can also treat damaged bricks with mortar made up of tinted lime for a new appearance. After replacement it is also important to leave new bricks and mortar in place so they can blend in place naturally over the course of time.

If repairing the brickwork is not something you feel comfortable doing yourself it is advised you contact an experienced bricklayer who has worked on older buildings. In the Chicago area your best option is to give Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. a call. Headquartered in Palatine, Arrow Masonry has been providing the highest quality tuckpointing and masonry restoration services to commercial and residential communities for more than 50 years. Arrow Masonry takes pride in customer satisfaction and assures all its clients their workmanship will be up to your high standards.

Contact Arrow today or call them at 847-776-6400 to view a complete list of all the quality services they provide to its clients including split-face brick repair and restoration and much more!

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