Tuckpointing in Chicago Area Homes: Does Your Home Need Repair?

While bricks can last nearly a century, the mortar holding them together must be replaced several times during the life of the walls to prevent any damage. This common repair is called tuckpointing, and it can dramatically increase the life of your home’s façade.

What is tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is the removal and replacement of the mortar between the bricks of your home.  It is a labor intensive project that should be completed by an experienced mason.  Proper tuckpointing in Chicago homes is imperative because harsh winter weather conditions can be hard on their exteriors.

Why is it important?

Tuckpointing in Chicago homes is an important part of upkeep and restoration, and a necessity in protecting the inside of your home from moisture.   When mortar weakens, moisture can seep behind or break down stones causing water damage behind the wall.  Replacing the mortar maintains the original appearance and strengthens the home’s structure while creating a relatively waterproof joint that extends the life of the walls.

When should you consider tuckpointing?

Though brick and mortar are substantial, they are not permanent structures.  The mortar will need to be replaced every 25-30 years in order to prevent damage in the bricks themselves and behind walls.  If you notice voids, water damage, or cracking and crumbling mortar, you should consider tuckpointing your home.

Testing for Damage

There is a simple test you can do to determine whether or not your facade is in need of repair.  Take an object like a small screwdriver or key and run the edge of it along a mortar joint.  If a white, powdery material is scraped off, your home is likely in need of repair.  If you are ever unsure if your home needs repointing, you should call a masonry contractor for a consultation.

When is it too late to repair with tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing in Chicago homes is critical to their maintenance, and it is imperative that you contact an experienced mason if you believe your mortar needs to be replaced.  When significant areas of brick or stone become loose, the only way to solve the problem is to tear down the old masonry and relay a new wall at a significantly higher cost than tuckpointing.