On April 10, 2008, Mark Maupin of Brick Repair LLC (248) 895-7752 is a local Michigan mason contractor spoke on Tuckpointing basics at Nation Real Estate Network in Livonia. Mark has 12 years experience in specialized in masonry restoration, chimney repair, and historic restoration.
Mr. Maupin address tuck pointing basics- Having masonry joints fall apart and deteriorate over time is a common problem. Tuckpointing is the removal and replacement of damaged mortar joints. Repairing cracked mortar joints may not be as difficult as one may think. With the purchase of a few tools, anyone can tackle some basic tuckpionting repairs. Most of these tools can be purchased at your local hardware, stores. You will need a masonry trowel, a tuckpointer, either a circular saw or an angle grinder equipped with a diamond blade, and of course mortar (recommend type n redi mix mortar), and a jointing tool.
To begin with, the homeowner will want to remove the cracked and damaged mortar. To do this you will carefully saw or grind out the damaged mortar. “Take the Time Needed!” A careless slip with the grinder can make for a damaged brick instead of a cleaned out joint. They want to remove the mortar at least an additional 1/2 of an inch deeper than the existing joint depth. Make sure to cover any dust sensitive areas with a tarp. Always wear a respirator, and safety glasses: this is VERY dusty work. The type of brick they are working with and temperature on the day they are working on can affect your repairs strength and longevity. On a warmer day and when working with a softer brick you will want to clean the exposed joints out with water. This has two benefits, 1) it will allow for a slower cure time for your mortar giving you stronger joints. 2) It ensures that the exposed joint has been properly cleaned out which will allow the new mortar to bond with the old mortar.
Now that their joints are clean and have been ground back to the proper depth you will want to mix your mortar. Leaving the mortar a little on the stiff side makes for a much neater job. Scoop up some mortar on your trowel. You do not need a full trowel of mortar to begin with. Start with small & manageable amounts of mortar. Place their trowel next to the exposed joint. They want the edge of your trowel to rest on the bottom of the exposed joint. Next they will use your tuckpointer to pack the mortar into the joint. This is a two handed operation. One hand holds the trowel while the second hand slides the mortar from the trowel into the exposed joint with the tuckpointer. When the joint is full they are ready to tool the joint. They are going to run your jointing tool along the length of each freshly pointed joint. You will want to start with the vertical (head joints) then tool out the horizontal (bed joints). This is somewhat tedious and detail-oriented work, but with a little patience, most do-it-yourselfers can do a competent tuck pointing repair
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Mark Maupin of Brick Repair LLC (248) 895-7752