Why and How to Tuckpoint your Masonry

Posted on: February 6, 2018

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Bricks as a construction and siding material are an excellent choice for projects whether they be commercial or residential. Like many other construction materials, proper maintenance is vital. Your house in Tulsa’s masonry design won’t last you long without proper upkeep and care.

We at Brick1 Masonry supply top-quality Tulsa masonry design to those who are in need. For construction projects involving bricks, we’re more than happy to serve you!

Also known as pointing and repointing, tuckpointing can be defined as the process of removing damaged or worn-out mortar joints (the sandwiched filling between the bricks). In tuckpointing, the mortar joints are cut to a depth and filled in with fresh mortar. It may also mean putting plastic mortar in the spaces between without removing the original mortar joint.

Aside from repairing old mortar joints, new brick walls might need some tuckpointing here and there to compensate for any faults or lapses in construction–such as when the mortar joint is not properly finished.

Setting up

Preliminary assessment before beginning work is sensible for the work to be good. Professional masons and experienced service people will perform a full inspection on the whole area, seeing if whether the mortar joint truly needs to be repaired or not, if the whole of the structure needs tuckpointing, or if only specific areas are to be targeted for the procedure.

Take note that tuckpointing is a difficult task and is best handled by professionals in the trade.

Further assessment considers if the structure is in need of cleaning, the actual conditions of the mortar joint, the age of the building, the type of mortar joint, the way of chipping away at the mortar joint–whether by chisel power drill, or masonry cutting wheel.

Mixing Procedure

Long ago, tuckpointing the mortar joint involved mixing the mortar with unusual materials resulting in a wholly different texture and variation of color. Tuckpointing, if performed without Portland cement, can lead to spalling of the masonry.

A good tuckpointing procedure usually follows these steps:

  1. Decide whether power tools, or the good old fashioned saw and grinders are to be used to remove old mortar.
  2. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
  3. Remove mortar to a depth of ½ to 3/8 inches, or until the firm part of the mortar joint is reached.
  4. Do NOT remove more than one third of the depth of the mortar joint.
  5. Brush away the dust and debris, and rinse with water or blow joint with air.
  6. Select type of mortar appropriate for the project.
  7. Mix additives for color.
  8. Place all ingredients in mixing box, mix.
  9. Add half the water for the mix.
  10. Mix until the mortar forms a thick paste.
  11. Let the mix set, this usually takes two hours.
  12. Then, add water to increase malleability of the material.


For applying, mortar joints are usually dampened to make sure that the new mortar mix to be applied bonds and sticks to the joint and surface. The mortar is then packed into the joint with the use of a trowel and levelled off using the said trowel to make sure a clean, level surface. When the mortar begins to harden, strike the joints with joint strike tools starting at the vertical joints and then the horizontal joints. This minimizes air pockets and voids.

In Tulsa, masonry design is a very attractive option for most homeowners, property managers and commercial establishment owners. With brick’s many benefits in construction, it comes off as a good investment in the long-run. Make sure your mortar joints are healthy and sound with regular services in tuckpointing. Brick1 Masonry has all the skills, equipment and knowledge anyone needs for brick work in Tulsa, OK!

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