The mortar between the bricks of your home is the glue that holds your bricks together. You may notice that the mortar starts to soften over time, eventually crumbling. This can leave gaps that are unsightly, and even be potential threats to the strength of the bricks. Tuckpointing is a process that involves removing the mortar that has been damaged and installing brand new mortar. While big jobs typically require a masonry specialist to repair the motor on your entire home, you can treat small problem areas on your own by following these steps.
You do not want to remove any mortar that is in good condition. You should only be tuckpointing mortar that is missing, cracking, crumbing, or is showing signs that it is starting to erode.
The damaged mortar can be removed using your chisel or screwdriver, though there are also tools you can rent that are designed to grind mortar out of these brick joints. You should only remove the first inch or mortar, as there is no need to go deeper than that.
Selecting The Mortar
You may think that all mortar looks similar, but there are subtle differences in mortar that may only be apparent after you have installed it between your bricks. If you take a piece of your mortar to a masonry specialist, they should be able to identify the color and match it for you.
If you have specialty mortar that has a texture to it, you will have difficulty matching the existing mortar so that it looks the same. In that situation, it may require the help of a professional.
Installing The Mortar
Start by filling up a spray bottle with water, as you will need to wet the joint between your bricks before installing the mortar. Next, open up the container of pre-mixed mortar that you purchased. The consistency should be similar to oatmeal; you do not want to use mortar that is too watery or stiff. Use your trowel to insert the mortar in the joint, taking the mortar to a similar depth as the rest of the mortar on your house.
If you accidentally got mortar on your brick, a simple solution of 33% muriatic acid and 66% water will clean it off. Dip a bristle brush into the solution, and scrub your bricks with it.
Now that your old mortar has been replaced, your home will look great with bricks that will be stronger than ever. For help, contact professionals like Hart Restoration Group.