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Tuckpointing: The “Glue” That Binds The World’s History and Stuctures:

While primitive building methods are thousands of years old and have included mud and other earthen materials to bind building materials together to form a structure; modern tuckpointing is more recent. Modern tuckpointing was developed and perfected by the English in the late 1800’s. The Industrial Revolution’s many factories and homes were built by London bricklayers who were known in the union trade as tuckpointers or jointers.

What is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing has several meanings. Tuckpointing originally referred to the less refined method of using putty or pipeclay in between the bricks to give the impression of eveness or completed brickwork. Modern tuckpointing evolved into what we recognize today when masons begin using steel tools to “point” the mortar in between bricks to produce a more uniform, precise and aesthetically pleasing look to buildings. Many tuckpointers also refined the thickness, color and consistency of the mortar to complement the bricks and appearance of the finished construction and exterior. Today’s masons still use many of the proven techniques and “tricks” of the trade developed hundreds of years ago. Masonry is still a respected construction skill and most craftsman recognize the hours and dedication that goes into producing a master mason capable of preserving the history of this venerable building art.

The Advantages of Hiring A Professional Tuckpointer and other Tips:

  • Hire a professional tuckpointer, like the professionals at St Louis Tuckpointing, is the right decision. Tuckpointing is labor-intensive and requires skilled masons to produce a lasting, professional result.
  • Allowing mortar to deteriorate to the point where it can be rub off easily, is a sure sign that your mortar is weakening and this poses a hazard to your structure, as well as your safety and well being. Falling bricks or crumbling chimneys can cause damage to your home or business, as well as family members or customers.
  • Avoid what we call “skimmers.” Skimmers are unscrupulous contractors who cut corners by covering over deteriorating mortar, instead of properly removing all mortar and applying new mortar. The skimmers, of course, make more money, do shoddy work, and then the customer ends up paying to have it done correctly.
  • Don’t put off tuckpointing. Deteriorating tuckpointing can result in several bad outcomes including the penetration of moisture into the entire structure, or such bad deterioration that the entire structure must be demolished and rebuilt from scratch. Either situation is costly, time consuming and completely avoidable.
  • Don’t hire just anyone to do tuck pointing. It seems deceptively simple, but it’s not. Many St Louisans have hired less than reputable contractors who claim to be competent tuckpointers, only learn too late that the contractor has done a poor job, lacks insurance, permits, proper equipment and scaffolding, trained masons or takes the money and runs.

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