Tuckpointing, tuck-pointing, tuck pointing, repointing and pointing are all terms used, (depending on location), to describe the process of replacing deteriorated, damaged, and/or failed mortar joints in-between masonry units (brick, cement block, etc.). Tuckpointing was developed in the early 1800’s as a way of imitating expensive brickwork using cheaper brick. Expensive bricks were manufactured slightly larger than necessary, and then usually hand chiseled to a uniform shape and size. When they were then used, each hand-cut brick was precisely the same size as every other brick, and a beautiful, uniform look was achieved. To imitate this, cheaper manufactured brick was laid in a mortar that matched the bricks color and finished flush with the brick. Then, small straight lines, “tucks”, were carved into the mortar before it had a chance to set. A small bead of putty or pipe-clay was “pointed” into the carved lines giving the impression of a nice uniform brick wall, but cost less and took less time to build.

Since today’s manufacturing techniques are far superior to over 200 years ago, bricks of the same style are virtually identical to each other. The need to first patch voids formed by odd-shaped brick is obsolete, thus the term tuckpointing has in turn, evolved to describe just replacing the mortar joints in between the masonry units.

Allow the experts at Historic Waterproofing & Restoration to help you choose the best method and materials for your project. We can match virtually any color and style of mortar joint from historic to modern blends. Our team can source any brick, block, and stone available or create custom units to match your building perfectly.

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