what you need to know about water damage

I am the first to admit that I am not the best home repair person in the world. When something breaks, it usually takes me a while to figure out how to make the repairs or to break down and hire someone to make the repairs for me. When my dishwasher was leaking, I made the big mistake of not taking action immediately. Instead, I just stopped using it. I thought that not using it solved my problems, but it didn't. About three weeks later, I had to hire a repair contractor to fix all of the damage that the dishwasher had caused. Find out about water damage on my blog.

Keep Your Brick Looking Better, Longer, With Tuckpointing

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One of the reasons brick is so popular is the fact that it is designed to last a long time. However, don't mistake this for maintenance-free. A part of ensuring you get the desired longevity out of your brick has to do with performing maintenance on your mortar joints. Exposure to the elements and general wear and tear can cause the joints to start to fail, over time. Make sure you know what to do.

What Is Tuckpointing?

One of the most effective forms of mortar joint maintenance is tuckpointing. Tuckpointing is a repair process that works by raking or grinding out the upper layers of the old mortar from between the bricks. Once the old mortar has been removed, new mortar can be replaced. When done correctly, the process of tuckpointing can be time and labor intensive because of the delicacy required.

Removing the old mortar too aggressively can damage the structure as well as any surrounding bricks, leading to costly repairs. While there are a number of how-to guides available, it's best to leave this task to a masonry professional.

When Is The Right Time?

While there is no timeline to tell you when it's the right time to consider this process, you can look at the condition of your mortar joints for helpful cues. First, any sign of deterioration is a good indication that tuckpointing might be in order. Visibly missing areas of mortar or crumbled areas are both visual cues.

If your mortar appears solid on the surface, you can still test it to make sure it's in good condition. To test the mortar, run a key across the mortar joint. If the key is able to scratch the surface, it's time for tuckpointing.

When It's Too Late

In cases of severe deterioration, it might be too late for tuckpointing. Since tuckpointing is really only designed to focus on the superficial layers of the joints, a deeper issue might involve another repair method. One simple way to tell if it's too late for this repair method is to check to see if your bricks are loose. If the bricks are loose, tuckpointing won't work. In this case, unfortunately, you will likely have to remove the bricks and have them replaced.

When it comes to the process of both performing tuckpointing and determining when it is necessary, make sure you are calling on a masonry professional like Hart Restoration Group for the best outcome.

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16 December 2015