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.