Do Weather Conditions Effect Tuckpointing Services?

Sometimes it is obvious tuckpointing services need to be performed. Cracks or other signs tell us repairs are needed. A common question asked when tuckpointing is necessary is: does the weather or other outdoor conditions effect the work to be done? The quickest answer is both yes and no.

The best weather conditions for tuckpointing work occurs in an air temperature between 40-90° F for the previous 24 hours and following 72 hours. It is also ideal to have no heavy rain or snow the day before or several hours after completion of the work.

In the Chicago area, the best times for projects are in the spring and fall. February and December will offer some possible days but can at times present some issues.  January is usually an unworkable month. Late January can at times present a couple decent days here and there. When ideal conditions are questionable, the cold can be dealt with a few different ways.

How to Tuckpoint in Cold Conditions

The simplest solutions for cold weather tuckpointing are the use of additives. They speed drying time and increase heat generated by the mortar during the curing process. Additives are best for smaller projects when temperatures will not fall too far below normal working conditions. Covering completed work can also help trap heat released by the curing process. Specialized heated tarps can be used to add warmth to the work surface area.

When your cold weather tuckpointing is finished, check for some signs that mortar was improperly installed. The most obvious is pitting of the mortar joints. This happens due to water in the mortar mix freezing when applying. Mortar that is not allowed to mix properly is weaker than a properly cured mortar.  In addition to the improper curing, as the water freezes, it expands and creates pockets throughout the joints. The water will eventually unfreeze and make its way out of the masonry, leaving an incredibly poor joint in the brick, block or stone.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Headquartered in Palatine, Arrow Masonry has been providing the highest quality tuckpointing in all weather conditions for more than 50 years. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to view all their services.

Essential Tools Used for Tuckpointing

A fireplace or chimney with a beautiful design can markedly increase the value and appeal of your home or office. It also affords you the opportunity for enjoyable moments by a cozy fire for your family or clients. However, like anything else, over time the mortar joints are subject to wear and tear may become damaged due to exposure to harsh weather conditions.  Moisture can even damage rock masonry, if it seeps into weakened mortar joints.   At this point, tuckpointing, a repair process that stops this destructive process, may be necessary.

Bricks on a chimney are durable and can last a century but mortar has a much shorter lifespan.  Depending on its exposure and other conditions, mortar typical lasts about 25 years. The layout of the roof and the position of the chimney affect how much or little water drainage contributes to erosion of the mortar joints.

When mortar joints become damaged, the best course of action is to call a professional, or if you are handy, make the needed repairs yourself. If you decide to complete the work yourself, remember the basic idea of tuckpointing is to remove all the damaged mortar and replace it with fresh material.

Basic Tools Used in Tuckpointing

The are some very basic but helpful tools you will want to have on hand if you decide to do the tuckpointing yourself – such as a mortar trowel, tuckpointing grinder, a plugging chisel and hammer, a mortar gun and some masonry brushes.

Trowels are used to spread the mortar when tuckpointing block, brick or stone. The grinder is extremely helpful in removing the mortar joints and cutting the stones or bricks. Use the chisel and hammer to clean the old mortar that must be replaced. The gun will help speed up the application of the mortar for crack and repairs. Masonry brushes are used to clean off the repair area or for finishing touches and aid in removing dust particles after fixing the framework.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. 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. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to view all the services that can provide for you.

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.

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