The Basics About Tuckpointing

Most people have heard of the word “tuckpointing” but are a bit unclear of its exact definition. In its simplest terms, tuckpointing refers to the process used to repair mortar joints in brick masonry or stone. This is accomplished by raking out the old mortar and filling it in with new material. Tuckpointing is hard work and a quality masonry job takes time.

Signs to Look Out For

If you suspect your mortar is deteriorating and may repairing, it is definitely time to take a closer look.  If you take a key and rub it across the mortar joint and it scratches up a powdery residue, tuckpointing is most likely in order. With good masonry, a key should not scratch it at all.  You can always contact a masonry contractor to be sure.

If your mortar is sub-standard, it can cause moisture to break down a brick masonry wall and result in problems.  When a quality tuckpointing job is completed, it provides a waterproof mortar joint that will increase the life of the wall. Tuckpointing before walls begin to deteriorate can save a lot of money. On the other hand, if you wait to tuckpoint a weakened wall, the only way to fix it is to tear it down and rebuild.

A sign it’s too late to tuckpoint is when your masonry bricks or stone become loose.   At this point the only way to remedy the problem is to tear down the wall and rebuild.  This can be a very expensive repair, so it is important to tuckpoint the mortar joints at the first sign of deterioration.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Arrow Masonry has been providing quality tuckpointing and masonry restoration services to commercial and residential communities for more than 50 years. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to view all the services that can provide for you.

When is the Best Time of Year to Perform Masonry Work?

The summer months are usually the slowest times of the year for masonry work. This is because brick suppliers are less behind during the warmer months.  The optimal time to begin masonry repairs tends to be in autumn. This is because temperatures are cooler, and precipitation has yet to become a problem. Rain can complicate masonry repairs and cause extra precautions, like using tarps and heaters.

Best Time for Masonry Chimney Repairs

The ideal time for masonry chimney repairs is right after winter ends or just before it starts. These times work well since the weather is more moderate and less likely to experience extreme temperatures. Another great time for chimney repairs is a few weeks after winter is over. Your chimney gets the most use in the winter, and a lot of unseen damage has a chance to build up.

Optimum Weather for Repointing

Repointing a masonry structure is a process that calls for removing old mortar and replacing it with a new mixture. When this is complete the curing process can begin. The conditions during curing are important to the outcome. A repointing project is not complete until the curing phase comes to an end. While many jobs do well in warm weather, curing is most successful when temperatures are slightly below freezing. In warm weather, curing needs to be conducted in the shade, away from humid winds.

Although lower temperatures are best, rainy conditions are not suited to repointing. It is not recommended to work on repointing on rainy days. For best results, temperatures should stay cool, but the sun should be out.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Arrow Masonry has been providing quality tuckpointing and masonry restoration services to commercial and residential communities for more than 50 years. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to view all the services that can provide for you.

Performing Masonry Work in the Heat of Summer

Summer is when most people are thinking about vacations and leisure activities. But along with nice weather, summer also brings humidity and drenching thunderstorms. This can be problematic for contractors since summer is also prime construction season.

Many building owners will be rushing to complete masonry work before fall.  Hot weather can really impact a construction schedule. Most contractors don’t concern themselves with weather because the temperature is usually ideal. However, masons should pay attention to summer conditions since weather can change drastically from morning to afternoon.

Early in the day, before the sun is at its highest, buildings are shaded. However, in the afternoon, humidity increases, and the sun really heats up. Sun beating down on masonry work rapidly evaporates the water from the mortar, creating cracks.

Protecting Materials is Essential

Unfortunately, many contractors don’t have protection plans in place during the summer. Safeguards such as burlap blankets or tarps should be used to protect the new work.  These provisions are essential for doing masonry correctly in the heat.

Protecting masonry materials in summer is of vital importance.  These materials  include mortar, sand, and cool water.  All materials need to be as cool as possible before use. The mortar used should be at less than 120°F. It can be tempered again with cool water to maintain consistency in the heat. Sand should be kept in a loose, damp condition by sprinkling it with water and leaving it uncovered.

These protections, once put in place, should prevent rapid loss of moisture from the new masonry work.  Combined with proper masonry techniques, the result should be a building that will last for years.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing and masonry work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Located in Palatine, Arrow Masonry has been providing quality masonry restoration services to commercial and residential customers for over 50 years. Arrow Masonry takes pride in customer satisfaction and stands by all its work. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to learn more about hot weather masonry work.

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