A lot of things can cause spaces and cracks to develop in the mortar between the bricks used to build your house. Heavy winds, ground movement, and structural settling are three big reasons mortar breaks apart and can cause the brick on the outside walls to become unstable. The openings in the mortar allow water and moisture to seep in behind the bricks that will freeze and expand if it turns to ice in the winter. Expanding ice can push the bricks out of position and cause even more damage to your mortar. Here is how you can tuck point the mortar to prevent water from seeping in behind the bricks.
- Power saw
- Power grinder
- Air compressor
- Chisels (hand or pneumatic)
- Jointer Tool
- Hard-bristled brush
- Safety glasses
Choosing the Right Tool
You need to remove the surface of the old mortar before you can point tuck between the bricks. The best equipment to use if you are repairing a large area is a power saw or grinder. Saws and grinders can grind down the mortar quickly, and if you aren't familiar in handling this equipment, you could cause more damage to the mortar than you should. In this case, a pneumatic chisel is easier to control and will still get the job done quickly. You can always use a hand chisel and hammer to knock the mortar out as a final option.
The first thing you should do is put on protective eye-glasses. You want to grind back the old mortar for about an inch. An inch is adequate space to put in enough new mortar that will hold up for a long time. You need to clean out the debris and chunks stuck in the cracks and opening before you apply new mortar. A small sir compressor is great to use in this type of situation.
Putting in New Mortar
Make sure you mix and prepare the mortar according to the directions on the package. The new mortar has to be placed as far as possible into the cracks and openings. You can use the bottom side of a trowel to put the fresh mortar on and then slide the mortar off the trowel and into the crack with a jointer tool. Once you fill the cracks and openings up with mortar, you can smooth the surface down with the same jointer tool.
You'll want to fill cracks and openings on your exterior brick walls as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. If you need help, call a professional point-tucking service company, like AAA-1 Masonry & Tuckpointing.