Tuckpointing (also called “tuck pointing” or “pointing”) is a construction industry term referring to work performed on masonry, such as brick, stone, and CMU block walls.
The tuckpointing process involves pushing a material into the mortar between masonry units, both for decorative appearance and structural integrity. Proper tuckpointing is important to prevent leaks and degradation of brick walls and chimneys, and to proactively maintain your home or commercial building.
Voids, crumbling mortar, and cracks are common issues in masonry work and the result of constant exposure to the elements. Sometimes, poor installations and intense freeze and thaw cycles can intensify these problems. Large holes and mortar that has completely washed away are evidence that tuckpointing is needed. Tuckpointing is the process whereby mortar joints in stone or brick masonry walls are repaired.
These repairs are made by grinding or raking out the existing mortar and filling in the spots with new mortar. Typically, two contrasting colors of mortar are used. One color matches the bricks or stones themselves, and the other color gives a false impression of new, finer joints. Tuckpointing halts destructive processes and provides numerous benefits. When mortar joints become damaged, tuckpointing is the most cost-efficient remedy, and the best way to stop water from penetrating masonry walls.
In parts of the US and Canada, some confusion may result as the term "Tuckpointing" is often used interchangeably with pointing (to correct defects or finish off joints in newly laid masonry) and repointing (to place wet mortar into cut or raked joints to repair weathered joints in old masonry).
Tuckpointing is a common maintenance procedure that is ideal for brick structures where the mortar is noticeably wearing away. Historical brick buildings are great examples of where tuckpointing is necessary because these structures are usually composed with less advanced materials, thus posing a greater risk for wear and damage. Tuckpointing reinforces structures that are less sturdy by sealing the area from exposure to the elements and creating a more attractive appeal overall.
Sixteenth-century brickwork in england had wide mortar joints to compensate for irregularly shaped bricks. Following the great fire of london in 1660, building materials such as good facing bricks were hard to come by. Until the 17th century, when uniformly sized bricks from holland became available, and christopher wren and other significant architects promoted narrow joints, tuckpointing’s traditional definition meant a narrow contrasting band over a background colored mortar.
Originally called “tuck and pat,” it evolved to “tuck and point jointing,” and later to just “tuckpointing. ” the technique made the assembled masonry appear to have better quality masonry units when viewed at a distance. Embraced by the middle class, the method was not typically used on royal homes or other important buildings. Along with brick-staining, it was notably used in 1732 on number 10 downing street, the home of the british prime minister, in order to unify three row houses into one address.
Tuckpointing is an elaborate, time-consuming and tedious work. Without the proper experience, you could very well end up with a mortar mixture that doesn’t hold well, crumbles fast, and then you’re back at square one. Not to mention, a poor diy tuckpointing job could harm the structure of your home. Hiring a professional is faster, easier, and could end up saving you tons of money in the long run.
There are several different factors that go into the pricing of tuckpointing, so the cost of the job will vary - this could be the most important factor you may take into consideration when contemplating performing tuckpointing by yourself. In our opinion, unless of course, you consider yourself an expert in tuckpointing, you should always have a professional contractor or mason perform any tuckpointing on your home. There are some jobs around the house that you can diy but tuckpointing isn’t one of them. Because the joints have to be precise and the mortar has to be prepared correctly you have to have a trained and experience professional doing the work.
So, you have a tuckpointing project and are wondering how much money you’re going to have to spend to solve the problem. With tuckpointing, most of the cost involved will be labor and set-up. If it’s hard to get to, it’s going to take more time, labor and equipment. Chimneys are a good example of hard to get to places. The cost to tuckpoint a chimney is especially influenced by ease of access.
So, you may ask yourself, how does a contractor calculate their costs? There is no exact formula to determine how much does tuckpointing cost or what the tuckpoint cost per square foot is, right to the very last cent. The first step is determining the time and material that will be needed for the job. While you may ask “what is the square foot price for tuckpointing?” it is important to note that there is no set price per square foot. Most of the cost involved in an average tuckpointing job is labor and set up.
The national average cost of tuckpointing for a 20 square foot area is $500. A good mason can tuckpoint 10 square feet an hour (chimneys and hard to reach areas take longer). In a 20 square foot area, materials will constitute around $300 of the job, and labor will run about $200.
On average, as an estimate, plan on spending about $5 to $15 per square foot, with most professional requiring at least $200 to $300, at a minimum, before they accept the job. Even though the materials are cheap, it’s the labor and set up that takes up most of the job. Most contractors, however, may lower the price per square foot if the job is larger than their standard rate. The costs will depend on your geographical location, the contractor you hire, the complexity of the job and the size of the job.
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.
When it comes to masonry work, repair, and restoration, there is a key process that must take place in order to ensure beauty and proper waterproofing. This process is known by several different names that include pointing, repointing, and pointing up. It is also referred to as tuckpointing in some regions, however, this term is indicative of another related process. For our purposes, we’ll be using the terms repointing and tuckpointing as the primary descriptive terms. Each process concerns the restoration of mortar joints in masonry work and can overlap, though each suits different purposes.
Masonry restoration includes repairs such as: brick re-pointing, brick laying, stone setting, casting, brick and stone cleaning, grinding & tuckpointing.read more →