Brick Tuckpointing Q&A
+–Point, Repoint, or Tuckpoint
Point – to fill new masonry joints with mortar or to correct defects in existing joints
Repoint – to fill cut or raked masonry joints with mortar usually due to deterioration
Tuckpoint – to fill masonry joints with a flush mortar matching masonry units color and add a thin strip of contrasting mortar on top
Repointing of deteriorating mortar joints minimizes moisture penetration of your brickwork.
A typical mortar joint should last at least 25 years before requiring any repairs. However, its lifespan depends on the mortar mix itself and the property’s geographical location / weather conditions.
- Cracks in mortar lines between the bricks
- Crumbling mortar / loose pieces of mortar falling from between the bricks
- Mortar erosion greater than 6mm deep (1/4”)
Ideally this should be determined in a laboratory by examining and matching of the existing (old) mortar mix sample proportions. This would prevent often irreparable brick damage caused by repointing with a mortar mix that has stronger compressive strengths than the original mortar mix.
+–Typical mortar mix proportions
Type N -1 part portland cement / 1 part hydrated lime / 6 parts sand
Type O -1 part portland cement / 2 parts hydrated lime / 9 parts sand
Type K – 1 part portland cement / 4 parts hydrated lime / 15 parts sand