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What Is Tuckpointing in Masonry?

Mortar is important for residential and commercial brick buildings because it holds the bricks together and acts as a seal to keep water and moisture from getting inside the walls. It’s also a nice-looking divider that goes around each brick. Unluckily, the mortar is the weakest part of a brick wall. Years of weathering, weight, temperature, and moisture can cause the mortar to wear down and crack. When the mortar is lost, it affects the wall’s ability to hold together, and the bricks no longer fit together neatly. Tuckpointing is the process professionals use to fix and strengthen the joints between the bricks.

Fig: Tuckpointing

What is Tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing is a method for repairing mortar joints in stone buildings that entails removing the old mortar and replacing it with new mortar. Then, to generate even more attractive straight lines, it uses a different hue in the spaces between the bricks. As a bonus, this procedure improves the brick’s appearance while increasing its durability.

Bricks are durable, so they can be used to construct walls or chimneys that will survive for decades. But the mortar between the bricks will crack and change color after many decades, necessitating replacement.

Importance of Tuckpointing:
Tuckpointing is about more than just making your bricks look good again. The mortar in your building fills up the big gaps between the bricks. When it starts to break down, the holes start to show up again, giving direct access to the walls and structures of your home.

Water and other moisture can get into your home or business through these cracks. It can ruin wood and even make mold grow. When it comes to mold, problems usually appear when they are already big and hard to fix. So, fixing your mortar as soon as you notice a problem is a key part of preventive maintenance.
Tuckpointing fixes the structure of the mortar so that it can continue to do its job of distributing weight. In masonry, tuckpointing works best when there are only small problems before the bricks start to bulge or crack and need more serious repairs.

Tuck pointing is a cheap way to improve the look and value of your home before you put it up for sale. To make a good first impression on potential clients, the outside of your building must always be clean and neat. It’s easy to show current and potential customers that you value their business by keeping your place clean and in good shape.

How Do You Know if You Need Tuckpointing?
Before hiring a professional to do tuckpointing on your home’s brickwork, it may be important to know the signs of mortar degradation. Most of the time, mortar can last for 20 to 30 years without any maintenance, but there are clear signs that maintenance is needed. Cracking mortar joints, noises, or vibrations that don’t make sense are signs of damage. Tuckpointing may only be necessary sometimes you see a small fracture in the mortar, but you should still keep an eye out for them.

If any signs of deterioration aren’t taken seriously, the foundation, chimney, or wall could fall. Tuckpointing should be done before major brick damage happens. Lastly, it’s especially important to tuckpoint mortar joints in older homes that don’t have air gaps and vents. It is because moisture can weaken your foundation’s strength.

When bricks around them are cracking or falling apart, a part of the foundation or wall needs immediate attention. These aren’t typical signs of normal wear and tear; they could be signs of foundation damage or movement. If this is the case, you should have a professional check your brickwork before starting any projects.

The Tuckpointing Preparation Method:
Tuckpointing is usually done by masons and people who work in construction. Before moving on, it is important to assess the masonry issue. Determines if mortar in damaged joints must be replaced or if the joints can be repaired. Mortar joints, age, and type all play a role in determining whether or not the entire building needs to be cleaned. When tuckpointing, the mortar joints are often prepared by cleaning and cutting them with a power drill, chisel, or masonry cutting wheel.

Mortar Mix for Tuckpointing:
The bricks fall apart when tuckpointing is done on top of an old mortar. For good tuckpointing, the following steps must be taken:

Use of Mortar in Tuckpointing:

Benefits of Tuckpointing:

Difference between Repointing and Tuckpointing:
Repointing is fixing damaged mortar between bricks; however, some use the terms interchangeably. Tuckpointing not only fixes the mortar but also provides an appealing aesthetic by creating a uniform, straight mortar lines.

If you like the classic look of brick but don’t like how it ages, masonry tuckpointing is a good option. In tuckpointing, the old mortar between the bricks is removed and replaced with new mortar to give the building a new look. The results are beautiful, and your brick wall or chimney will look different.

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2. “All You Need to Know About Tuckpointing.” Bob Vila, 18 Oct. 2017,
3. “Everything You Need to Know About Tuckpointing | Frederic Roofing.” Frederic Roofing – St. Louis’ Roofing Company. For a Hole in Your Roof, or a Whole New Roof, Call Frederic Roofing., 22 May 2019,
4. Werner, Austin. “How Do You Know if You Need Tuckpointing? | the Real Seal LLC.” The Real Seal LLC, 15 June 2021,
5. Mmilas. “Brick Tuckpointing: Why It Is Needed and What Its Benefits Are | Affordable Tuckpointing Pros LLC.” Affordable Tuckpointing Pros LLC, 1 June 2017,
6. Caulking, Waterproof. “The Importance of Tuck Pointing in Masonry.” Waterproof Caulking & Restoration, 11 July 2022,
7. “Masonry: How to Repair Mortar Joints.” Family Handyman, 27 June 2019,

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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