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What is Tuckpointing and How do I do it?

tuckpointingAlso commonly referred to as repointing or pointing, tuckpointing is the process of removing and replacing deteriorated mortar joints. It’s an important process that every owner of a masonry structure should be aware of, as it’s routinely used to reinforce and repair Maryland masonry to ensure that it stays looking good, and more importantly, safe.

Preparing to Tuckpoint

Tuckpointing is a labor intensive process and should only be attempted by an experienced Maryland masonry professional, or someone with substantial masonry experience. Before beginning to tuckpoint it’s vital to conduct a thorough analysis of your masonry to determine exactly where the problem areas are, and what mortar joints need replacing. You’ll also have to determine if the joints need cleaning, and the age of the masonry you’re working with.

Creating Tuckpointing Mixture

  1. Decide whether or not you need power tools. Saws and grinders are normally used to remove mortar.
  2. If you’re using mechanical tools you’ll need to set up extra proctection to avoid damaging the masonry.
  3. Don proper protective gear,
  4. Remove the old mortar up to a depth of 3/8 inches to ½ inch, or until you strike firm mortar. Warning: Do not remove more than one third of the depth of the masonry unit, this is very unsafe.
  5. Remove dust and debris by brushing, rinsing with water or blowing the mortar joint with air.
  6. Select the type of mortar that is going to be used.
  7. Mix the additives to match existing mortar colors.
  8. Place all ingredients in a mixing box.
  9. Thoroughly mix all ingredients.
  10. Add half the water needed for the mix.
  11. Mix until the mortar forms a thick paste, thick enough so a ball can be formed, without having mortar flow.
  12. Let the mix set and hydrate for about two hours.
  13. Add water to increase workability. Warning: Adding too much water, will make the solution too runny, and thus unfit for use.

Applying the Mixture

  1. Using the tip of a trowel, pack the mortar into the joint until it is full.
  2. Scrape away excess mortar until the joint is flush with the masonry surface.
  3. After the mortar has hardened a bit, strike the joints with a joint strike tool, first vertically, then horizontally.
  4. Make sure to keep the mortar damp and covered with a sheet of plastic for 3 days after the procedure.

Need Tuckpointing or Other Masonry Repair in Maryland?

If you’re looking for a reliable Maryland masonry company that can take care of this laborious and technical process for you, contact Del Prete Masonry. Our masonry restoration professionals have the experience and history of satisfied clients to prove that we’ll get the job done right, and cost-effectively. To get started with your tuckpointing or other masonry repair project, please contact our office today at 410-683-0650 or email us at mike@delpretemasonry.com. We serve Baltimore City, County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. Keep up with our blog for masonry related information, and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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