If your brick fireplace is starting to show its age because the mortar is deteriorating, then it may be time to make some cosmetic improvements. Replacing the mortar makes the fireplace look nicer and keeps the fireplace in good shape. This can be achieved through a process called tuckpointing, and here's how it's done.
Tuckpointing Improves The Appearance Of Brick
Your old fireplace may have mortar that's crumbling out in places, and this creates an uneven look between the bricks. Plus, old mortar can discolor and make the fireplace look dirty and dingy. Tuckpointing improves these problems by using two types of mortar. One type fills in the spaces between the bricks and blends in with the color of the brick, and the other is a bright, white thin line that is applied in the center of the other mortar. This results in the appearance of neatly stacked brick with straight lines and edges, so your fireplace looks new again.
Old Mortar Is Removed First
The first step in tuckpointing is to remove part of the old mortar to make room for the new. This can be done with hand tools, and it can be a labor-intensive process. When the mortar is removed to the right depth, the fireplace is dusted off and made ready for the new mortar. The mason has to add pigments to the new mortar so it blends in with the existing bricks. This helps create the illusion of perfectly straight edges in the fireplace bricks once the white lines are added.
New Mortar Is Applied
The new wet mortar is applied and blended in with the bricks. This mortar can also act as a repair step for areas where mortar was damaged or missing. When this pigmented mortar is almost dry, a straight line is etched in the center so white mortar can be applied in it. When this line is put in straight and even, it can change the appearance of your fireplace from looking old and worn down to looking like newly placed brick with straight edges and fresh mortar.
Tuckpointing is a cosmetic treatment, but it also protects your fireplace. It's important for the mortar to always be in good repair between bricks to keep out moisture. While moisture may not be a problem with an indoor fireplace, you still want the mortar kept in excellent repair and looking good so your fireplace is an attractive complement to your home.Share