D ue to the extreme weather in Chicago, brick & stone masonry installations are a favorite material choice among homeowners and builders. In many cases stone and brick masonry will last up to 100 years! However, the mortar joints, which is the cement between the brick and stone, typically hold for only 20-30 years. When you begin to see cracks in the mortar, crumbling mortar or evidence of water damage, you need a tuckpointing contractor to make repairs.
Every day we received panicked calls from homeowners from Chicago to Barrington about a leaking brick wall, crumbling chimney or fireplace in need of restoration. Not to worry folks, the most common form of stone & brick repair is tuckpointing. So let’s review what is tuckpointing and when it’s necessary.
What is Tuckpointing?
In short, tuckpointing is the repair process that stops the destructive decay between brick and stone. We grind or rake out the old mortar to a specific depth and fill the space with new mortar. It is labor intensive, so if you see cracks occurring you should contact us right away.
When Should I Contact a Tuckpointing Contractor?
If you’re unsure of when you should contact a stone & masonry contractor, here’s a simple test you can do yourself. Rub a key across the mortar joint. If you see powdered material in the air as the key scratches the surface, you probably need tuckpointing.
Why Do I Need to Tuckpoint?
The biggest culprit to a weakened structure is moisture (water). If the mortar joints continue to crack and crumble, moisture will eventually weaken the structural integrity of the wall, chimney or fireplace. So when you see cracks in between the mortar joints, call us right away.
What Happens If I waited Too Long?
We’ve often encounter chimneys that have loose brick or stone. Unfortunately, when this occurs, the structure is too weak and beyond repair. That means the project goes from tuckpointing to restoration.
If you’re still unsure about the scope of your project, give us a call. We’d be happy to come out for a complimentary consultation and assess the situation. We proudly service Chicago, Barrington, Lake in the Hills, Lake Zurich, Kildeer Lake Forest and other surrounding suburbs.