It’s a common mistake made by countless home repair novices - improper maintenance of brickwork. The idea seems to be that because brickwork is a lot more durable and requires less maintenance than, say, wood paneling, it can just be left alone. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
While the bricks themselves tend to last for a very long time (more than a century, and thats a conservative estimate), the mortar that holds them together is another story altogether. Due to wear and tear from wind, rain, and snow, brick mortar tends to wear down over time. It tends to weaken, crack, and fall away. If you let mortar deteriorate without bothering to repair it, moisture will eventually seep between the bricks of your wall. Left long enough it can damage the inside of your home, and cause severe damage to the bricks in the wall. Thats why tuckpointing is crucial. Tuckpointing is the process of removing and replacing old mortar in your brickwork. By tuckpointing regularly you seal off any potential entry points for unwanted moisture, protecting both your wall and your home from damage. Tuckpointing isnt exactly an easy project, though. Its complicated, precise, and labor-intensive. Its not, in other words, the sort of thing you want to do annually.
So how often should you tuckpoint?
Honestly, it depends. While as a general rule youll want to replace the mortar in your wall every twenty-five to thirty years, if your home is in a wetter climate or a region with severe weather, (both of which apply to Chicago), youll want to do it much more often. Similarly, if you live in a climate thats typically dry or arid, you can probably get away with less frequency. The quality of your last tuckpointing job also plays a huge role. If you hired a professional contractor who used a high-quality mortar and did everything perfectly, you won't need to do it again for at least a few decades. If your last tuckpointing job used shoddy products or craftsmanship, you might need to repoint it much sooner - possibly even right away. For best results, you should probably rely on a professional here, unless youre exceedingly confident in your tuckpointing abilities. Better to spend a little money and save the time and headache of potentially ruining your brick, right? That’s where Bald Eagle Construction comes in. We’re Chicago’s leading residential construction contractor, and brickwork is something we know like the back of our hands. More importantly, we care more about our customers than our payday. Bring us in, and we’ll make sure your tuckpointing project is done to perfection, no matter what it involves.