Indianapolis Tuck Pointing

Homes built with brick and mortar have withstood the test of time proving to be both sturdy and full of historic or modern character. But brick and mortar homes are not without flaw. Given the right conditions, mortar can crack or crumble away.

What is mortar?

Mortar is the leveling agent used when building a masonry structure. It’s made up of two main ingredients: sand and cement. It’s very important that mortar is properly mixed before tuck pointing. If the mix is too sandy, it will easily fall apart and crumble away. If too much cement was applied, the mix will cure too quickly making it brittle and susceptible to cracking prematurely.

So what is a mortar joint?

The mortar you see between bricks or stone are defined as mortar joints. They can range in size, style, and color. Mortar is intentionally made softer than brick and stone to absorb any expansion or movement. This will cause the mortar to crack first instead of the masonry units surrounding it.

Why do mortar joints crack?

Mortar can crack for a few reasons such as settling, freeze-thaw cycles, or a poor mix ratio. As the earth moves, settling can take place around different parts of the home creating stair-step cracks in nearby mortar joints. This type of cracking is most commonly found extending from the ground on the exterior walls of a home. However, stair-step cracking can also be found near windows and above garage doors.

Water is mortar’s worst enemy. Once a mortar joint has cracked it becomes vulnerable to water intrusion. If water gets behind the masonry, it will create more problems and could damage interior walls. But worse, it is susceptible to freeze-thaw damage during the winter season. If water freezes inside a cracked mortar joint, it will expand causing even more nearby joints to crack. This is a big reason why cracked mortar joints need to be caught early.

Tuck Pointing

We believe there is only one right way of addressing cracked mortar. It’s called tuck pointing. Proper tuck pointing should always include the removal of the damaged mortar. You should never skim-coat or patch over the existing compromised mortar joint. Once the mortar is removed the joint is cleaned and prepped for new matching mortar.

Quality tuck pointing should never be noticeable from the street. When attention to details like color, tooling style, and mix ratio are considered, a tuck pointing repair should blend in with the rest of the surrounding masonry. This is what Clean Sweep 317 strives for every time no matter the project.

Our purple team of experienced masons are confident that we can take care of any of your tuck pointing and mortar repair needs. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and check out some of our finished work below.


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