In the process of tuckpointing, such involves the combination of two different colours of mortar to fill in mortar joints of a brick wall or chimney. The first of which is needed for tuckpointing to match the actual bricks. In doing so, it naturally blends in and creates a seamless appearance. The second of which is used for the actual appearance of mortar joints. By combining the two distinct colours between the brick mortars, it produces the illusion of natural mortar joints.
Since rubbed brick is a more expensive building material, tuckpointing was created in order to mimic the appearance of it. For a less costly way to make rubbed brick, homeowners found a way to copy the appearance of high-end bricks, giving birth to tuckpointing.
The Process of Tuckpointing
It is important to know more about the tuckpointing process to be aware of what to expect before, during and after the procedure.
Removing Mortar Joints. The procedure starts by removing the existing mortar joints to at least one inch. In this process, a professional mason uses an angle grinder to remove the mortar, which is quite a messy job. Alternatively, you can also rely on the traditional hammer and chisel, but it is more time-consuming.
Brushing Off Dust. After grinding the mortar joints, a masonry brush or a high-pressure nozzle is used to remove dust and debris from the ground mortar joints.
Matching Colour of Brick. A mix of new mortar is prepared to match the existing brick colour. A combination of mortar pigment is prepared. This process might take a while to get that perfect colour match, so it is wise to remember the ratio so that you can use it in the next tuckpointing project.
Filling Joints. The experts will fill the joints with the new mortar. The horizontal joints are worked first and followed by the vertical joints. The professionals will smoothen it out to resemble a flat surface or a slight curve once the application of the wet mortar to the joints is done.
Drawing of Straight Lines. It is wise to use a straightedge and a tuckpointing tool to make straight lines in the centres of the newly filled joints the moment the new mortar starts to harden, yet still semi-pliable. Try making the lines as straight as possible
Levelling Off Lines. Finally, you should apply lime putty to the scraped lines to create contrasting fillets, and then remove the excess. An expert mason typically uses a straightedge and a small knife for this part to form more uniform lines in the centres of the wide mortar joints.
The Benefits of Tuckpointing
Tuckpointing is a really crucial process in preserving the life of brick wall or chimney. If you are yet undecided, here are some of the benefits of tuckpointing on chimneys:
It prevents the corrosion of the mortar joints from further happening.
It restores the structural appeal and strength of the brick wall or chimney.
It preserves the historical character and cultural heritage of the building or house.