Tuckpointing vs Repointing: Understanding the Differences between Two Masonry Techniques


Chad Rife

We offer true craftsmanship, complete transparency and a commitment to get your project done on budget and on time.

While brick is a highly durable construction material, it will likely require repairs at some point in time. That’s where tuckpointing and repointing come in. These are two masonry techniques that involve adding new mortar joints to a brick structure. Even though tuckpointing and repointing often get used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between them. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between these two techniques so you can decide which one makes the most sense for your unique situation.


What Is Repointing?

Repointing is usually performed on brick structures with extensive damage, like missing pieces, cracks, or deterioration, as a result of weathering or other environmental factors. During the process, the damaged mortar is removed to a minimum depth of ½ inch. Then, any remaining debris is cleaned out from the joint so it can be filled with new mortar that matches the texture and color of the existing mortar. Repointing creates a more durable connection between the bricks.


What Is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is a technique that enhances the appearance of brick masonry while repairing it. It’s usually performed on structures that are in generally good condition but have stained or discolored motor joints due to harsh weather conditions and other factors. Once the damaged mortar has been removed up to approximately ¼ inch, a new thin layer of an alternatively colored mortar is applied. This makes the joint look clean and neat. By adding the alternate color between the first brick-colored mortar, the mortar joints give off an eye-catching attractive look.

How Do Repointing and Tuckpointing Compare?

With repointing, the mortar between the bricks creates a blemished appearance along the edges of the masonry. That being said, it’s not intended to replicate anything or improve aesthetic appeal. Tuckpointing, on the other hand, makes it so that the masonry and color-matched mortar blend in so well that nobody would be able to tell the difference between them. It can replicate the look of thinner, pricier masonry materials at an affordable price point. While both repointing and tuckpointing repair the mortar, tuckpointing adds an aesthetically pleasing element.

Rife Masonry Offers Brick Tuckpointing

At Rife Masonry, we specialize in tuckpointing in Seattle and the surrounding area. Regardless of whether you have a historic building, a colonial home, a temple, or anything in between, our tuckpointing service can ensure your brick masonry stands the test of time. Here’s what you can expect from our tried and true process:

1. Remove Damaged Mortar

First, our highly skilled and experienced contractors will use an angle grinder to remove your damaged motor.

2. Clean and Inspect Mortar Joints

Next, they’ll clean dust and debris from your mortar joints and inspect them for any damage.

3. Apply New Mortar

Our contractors will fill the joints with fresh mortar and smooth it out for a beautiful, seamless look.

Understanding Masonry Repairs

Benefits of Tuckpointing

Several of the many advantage of tuckpointing include:

Improved Aesthetics

Through a quality tuckpointing job, you can return your brick-and-mortar joints back to their original condition so that your structure looks as good as new. It’s a great option if you appreciate the charm of brick but dislike the way it ages.

Cost Savings

Since tuckpointing can save you from having to tear down and rebuild your building from scratch, it’s a significant money saver. You’ll enjoy a timeless, stunning look without breaking the bank.

Protection from External Weather Conditions

Tuckpointing can shield your structure from external weather conditions. The fresh mortar creates a seal between the bricks and, in turn, keeps moisture out and prevents damage.

Increased Property Value

If you decide to sell your property in the future, tuckpointing may help you get top dollar for it. Potential buyers will be attracted to its beautiful, like-new look.

Long-Lasting Results

As long as it’s performed by a true professional, tuckpointing can last for up to 30 years. It’s an investment that offers an excellent return on your investment.

Hire Rife Masonry for Professional Tuckpointing & Repointing

Tuckpointing and repointing takes a great deal of specialized knowledge and skill. That’s why you need an experienced masonry professional to perform it. You can count on Rife Masonry for top-notch tuckpointing services in Seattle and the surrounding area. If your brick structure has cracked or crumbling bricks, holes in the mortar joints, or weathered or disintegrating mortar, contact us today for a no-obligation tuckpointing quote.

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