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Tuck Pointing Terminology
Over time, the mortar that binds bricks together can crack or discolor. If you find that your home, business, or chimney is showing any such wear, you may be in need of a tuck pointing service. Here are some common terms to get you familiar with the industry.
Tuck Pointing - The process of tuck pointing is, generally, when masonry professionals repair or replace the damaged mortar that is between the bricks on a structure. The mortar must be smoothed and even, and is typically a contrasting color to the bricks themselves. Sometimes the wall or structure is then sealed with veneer for durability. Tuck pointing is often referred to as repointing.
Grinding and Pointing - Sometimes, damage requires a masonry contractor to actually grind down the existing mortar. He or she can then create an effective surface to which the new mortar can stick. This is a cheaper option than replacing the brick altogether.
Mortar - The mixture that masons use to bind the bricks is called mortar. It is paste-like in texture and has similar characteristics to cement or concrete. Mortar is commonly made up of sand, lime, and water.
Mason - A mason is anyone that is skilled in the field of bricklaying and brick working. Depending on your region, this title can encompass a variety of jobs. For example, in some areas, masons don't, in fact, do tuck pointing repair. Instead, the job is left to rejointing specialists.
Jointers - A jointer is the tool that a contractor uses in order to apply the mortar to walls and chimneys.
Tuck-pointing is a cheaper way to fix or repair errors in mortar or masonry joints. It also allows for precise, thin looking joints. It is the processes where the bricks used to build the wall may not be perfectly shaped, so they may not have clean mortar lines. To give the appearance of exactness, first a grout or mortar line of color matching the bricks is laid, and then mortar or putty of another color is laid in a thin line to give the appearance of perfect brickwork. Tuck-pointing can be used on everything from outdoor walls, to a design for interior chimney work.
Today, tuck-pointing is a less common form of masonry. Because of advances in masonry tools and equipment, experts are able to cut bricks or concrete exactly, without extensive effort or expense. However, it is still used on many historic buildings, or for repairing walls. Overall, tuck-pointing requires less maintenance and is easier to repair or replace than typical paving.
Masonry contractors that are trained in tuck pointing usually hold other skills as well. They are talented in repointing, concrete finishes, installing pavers, and more. For instance, many construction jobs may require more than repair to a damaged chimney. They may need experience replacing specific concrete mixes, working with grinders, and shaping cement blocks into correct lines for straight laying in the mortar.
To find more historical information on the process of tuck pointing, or find experts in your area, take a few minutes to research this topic online.