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Although they do not mean the same thing, tuckpointing and repointing are often used interchangeably in the masonry industry. There are times when this needs to be clarified. It is essential to understand the difference these terms convey and what they mean for professionals in the industry and their clients.


While repointing and tuckpointing involve adding new mortar joints to a brick structure, the methods have subtle differences. If you discover your chimney has some mortar damage and needs repair, you must determine whether tuckpointing or repointing work is required in order to address the problem.


Repointing is the actual process of removing damaged mortar joints and renewing them. Tuckpointing is similar but is not always completed for damage control. An important distinction to note is that tuckpointing, by definition, is a style using two different colors of mortar to alter the appearance of mortar joints.


Repointing involves repairing joints on brickwork that have been damaged or crumbled. The mortar joints are critical because they are necessary to support the structure. When mortar joints are affected by damage, it is easy for water and other elements to seep into the chimney, and over time the exposed areas will erode. To prevent further damage, repointing is done to reseal mortar joints.


Tuckpointing involves using two different shades of mortar to fill in the mortar joints of brickwork. One of the two colors used for tuckpointing is created to match the bricks so that it will blend in seamlessly. The other color used is always different and is made for the appearance of mortar joints. It is a good way for homeowners to save money by copying the appearance of high-end bricks rather than spending money on new ones.


Brick masonry is solid and has proven to stand the test of time. However, it still must be cared for and maintained. A sturdy brick chimney can last for a long time, but mortar joints may begin to show signs of wear. Damp winters and corrosive exhaust often damages the masonry joints of chimneys over time, both inside and out. If left in disrepair, damaged brickwork gets worse, sometimes leading to rebuilding your chimney. If mortar joints are crumbly or showing signs of damage, they will need to be repaired immediately to prolong the masonry structure's strength.

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