If you have a historical building, you have mortar. Mortar is the material that binds brick, concrete, stone and terra cotta in their respective structures. It creates a watertight wall assembly. It also deteriorates over time requiring the services of masons with tuck pointers to repair the walls to last another spate of time.
Mortar and Tuck Pointers
Mortar is an integral part of any structure requiring masonry. It is usually softer and more porous than the material it supports. This characteristic is essential since mortar must be able to handle contraction and expansion due to changes in temperature. Mortar must also be able to provide some way for any moisture to escape.
Mortar, not the masonry units, do and should deteriorate. This is part of its intended nature. Repair work takes the form of pointing. Traditionally referred to as “tuck pointing,” it requires the use of tools called tuck pointers.
Tuck pointers are a trowel that possesses a narrow blade. It is a device used by masons for centuries. These specialized articles of masonry equipment help the pointers accomplish two tasks:
* Remove the decaying exterior layer of the affected mortar.
* Replace the removed mortar with new mortar.
This sounds simpler than it actually is. Too often, inexperienced and untrained masons have increased the problem by incorrectly removing and restoring the mortar. The result of their shoddy or simply un-informed work has resulted in:
* an unsightly appearance,
* deterioration of the structure – historical or not, or
* leakage into the building as the ability of the mortar to act as a membrane is impaired or destroyed.
As result, it is important to understand everything that could possibly go wrong in the hands of an amateur. This job requires the experience of masons working for companies such as Soumar Masonry Restoration, to be performed properly. While hiring an expert may appear to be more costly, repairing the damage done by those who are unskilled with tuck pointers will be significantly more expensive.
Professional Masons and Point Tuckers
Professional masons work with historical structures and understand the complex nature of pointing. Correct tuck pointing involves:
* Limiting tuck pointing to the areas that are deteriorating.
* Removing the deteriorated mortar before re-pointing.
* Using strength and porous mortar comparable to the original.
* Always know the characteristics of the original mortar before you prepare and employ its replacement and prepare it accordingly and correctly.
* Never re-point in extreme weather conditions.
It is also important that masons, such as those employed at reputable companies like Soumar Masonry Restoration, understand the different methods employed in pointing throughout the centuries. By recognizing the technique used, and duplicating it with similar tuck pointers, the mason can successfully recreate the intention of the original mason. You can also like them on Facebook.