What Is Tuckpointing and How to Know If You Need It

what is tuckpointing

Brick homes are not only beautiful but also eco-friendly, low-maintenance, and durable. However, several factors, like mold, moisture, wind, and other harsh conditions, can cause the mortar between bricks and stones to deteriorate.

Failing to address this problem will result in more expensive repairs. That’s why you need tuckpointing.

Now, you may be wondering, “What is tuckpointing?” In this article, we’ll help you understand what tuckpointing is and how it works, when you need tuckpointing, and how you can benefit from hiring a professional tuckpointing service.

Learning this will help you enhance the look of your brick structure and receive solutions exclusively designed for your needs!


What Is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing refers to the process of removing and replacing defective or worn mortar between the bricks of a house or building. The new and fresh mortar has fillets or clean lines, which result in a beautiful contrast.

Aside from providing aesthetic appeal, tuckpointing also allows for better structural integrity. By supporting the bricks’ weight, the new mortar prevents the wall or chimney from weakening.

You won’t have to worry about water intrusion that can cause mold or even flooding in your basement, either.

Why Does Mortar Deteriorate?

According to Design Buildings, mortar’s lifespan is 20 to 30 years. However, mortar joints tend to degrade over time.

Reasons for this include:

  1. Natural wear and tear
  2. Excessive moisture
  3. Pressure from the brick’s overhead weight
  4. Substandard materials and workmanship
  5. Pests and insects
  6. Vines crawling on the bricks
  7. Insufficient maintenance
  8. Rain, snow, wind, and other harsh weather conditions


U.S. News & World Report also notes that if you live close to the coast, you may need to replace mortar sooner than you would elsewhere.


How Tuckpointing Brick Works

Tuckpointing involves removing a damaged mortar with a grinder or router. A new mortar that matches the brick’s color and texture is utilized for the routed parts.

Afterward, grooves are created by cutting down strips in the middle of the joints. The mortar’s final coat is then blended into the original color. Thinner grooves are filled in for clean lines.

Tuckpointing is quite laborious, and precision is required to produce level mortar joints. That is why working with a reliable brick tuckpointing company like Detroit Brick Co. is necessary. 

This way, you can avoid costly repairs and gain confidence that your masonry will last for years.


Tuckpointing vs Repointing vs Pointing

Tuckpointing and repointing both involve removing old, damaged mortar and replacing it with new mortar. However, repointing doesn’t include adding contrasting lines or fillers in the centers of the fresh mortar joints.

Meanwhile, pointing refers to filling mortar joints between bricks during new construction. Thus, this process is performed during the bricks’ initial placement.


When Is Tuckpointing Necessary?

Besides raising the question “What is tuckpointing,” you should also know the signs that you need tuckpointing, so you can prepare and avoid spending more than you have to.

  • Cracked, broken, protruding, or partially missing mortar joints and uneven brick surface
  • Loose bricks or stones in masonry structures
  • Gaps or holes in the mortar
  • Visual deterioration and fading brick colors
  • Water damage, mold growth, and structural weakness


To help identify whether your mortar should be replaced, work with a reliable contractor like DBC.


DIY vs Hiring a Professional

When it comes to tuckpointing, you can take a risk and choose the DIY route or let experienced professionals do the job for you.


Pros and Cons of DIY Tuckpointing Brick

Tuckpointing brick can be turned into a DIY project, which has different pros and cons.


  • Cost savings: Doing the tuckpointing yourself means that you won’t have to pay contractors for labor and their expertise. Moreover, you can rent the tools for a relatively low price.
  • Personal satisfaction: Replacing old mortar with a fresh one gives you a sense of pride and satisfaction. You might also find it an enjoyable learning experience.


  • Inadequate tools: You may not have the complete set of quality tools needed to properly remove and replace defective mortar as well as complete the process more quickly and effectively.
  • Lacking skills: Unlike professionals, you may not have enough skills and knowledge on how to prepare the area, fill joints correctly, and ensure a smooth finish. You might just end up adding more holes or damage to the mortar.
  • Safety risks: According to PR Newswire, 80% of homeowners pursuing DIY projects encounter minor or major mistakes. You might cut into the bricks and compromise your home’s structural integrity, especially if you’re tuckpointing exterior bricks. You or your family may also get injured.
  • Daunting process: Tuckpointing is a tiring process, and it can be overwhelming for beginners. You’ll also have to deal with a lot of dust, dirt, and grime.


Why You Should Hire a Professional

Tuckpointing on your own may be a rewarding experience, but it’s time-consuming and draining. It can also be dangerous to you, your family, and your property.

Hiring a professional tuckpointing brick service like Detroit Brick Co. lets you experience several benefits.

  • Expertise, experience, and quality assurance: Our highly skilled masons have years of experience in addressing various masonry problems, including broken or crumbling mortar. We also implement long-term solutions that will help prevent further damage.
  • Time-saving and minimal disruption to building occupants: At Detroit Brick Co., we utilize cutting-edge materials and proven techniques to replace your damaged mortar. Hence, you get quick yet excellent results.
  • Safe and seamless: With our expert masons, you can expect a safe and thorough removal and replacement of mortar joints. The new mortar will also blend perfectly with the rest of the brick and stone.
  • Better home value: Getting a professional tuckpointing brick service is a great investment. Well-maintained bricks help improve your home’s curb appeal, attracting potential buyers and increasing your home value.



Tuckpointing allows you to enhance your home’s aesthetics and prevent water intrusion. It supports your property’s structural integrity too.

Proper and regular maintenance of your brick structures will help you save time and money in the long run. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you and your family are safe.

Want to ensure smooth and seamless tuckpointing?

Look no further than Detroit Brick Co. We perform a thorough inspection, provide customized solutions based on your unique needs, and offer consistent top-quality tuckpointing. Request a free quote today!

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Detroit Brick Co. is a leading provider of residential masonry repair and restoration services in the Metro Detroit area. Founded by Louis Pickner, a highly skilled mason with over a decade of experience, our company is dedicated to delivering top-quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer service.


Detroit Brick Co. LLC
16944 Penrod Dr
Clinton Twp, MI 48035

Mon-Sat: 7:30am – 6:30pm
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