What is the Difference Between Tuckpointing and Repointing?

No one wants to see a crack in their brick and mortar.  Encountering only one can frustrate you but finding multiple might cause you to search for a DIY fix on the internet.  Many search engines will refer to repointing and tuckpointing, which are likely terms you have never even heard of.  What do these terms mean and in what way do they differ?  Read below to discover the answers.

Tuckpointing refers to the process of filling in the masonry gaps or holes between existing brick and mortar with fresh mortar.  Ensuring that the new mortar color matches the old mortar color is part of this process.

When Is Tuckpointing Necessary?

Tuckpointing is necessary when minor crumbling and cracking become apparent in the masonry.  It is difficult to comprehend the full scenario until your structure’s surface has been thoroughly washed.  Even in damage is minimal, tuckpointing now can help prevent the necessity for repointing later on.

With What Frequency Should I Tuckpoint?

If tuckpointing is done by a professional, it should not need to be done frequently.  Brick and mortar are the primary masonry materials due to their incredible durability.  Their impervious state is one complication in this scenario.  Over time, rain, snow, and humidity may damage them over the years.  Do your own masonry check-up on your home from time to time and always after any severe weather.  If you have had tuckpointing done lately, you may not need to do it again in the next few years.


Where tuckpointing is an aesthetic correction and preventative measure, the process of sealing mortar joints which are exposed to the elements is referred to as repointing.  This process seals dryness in and keeps water out in order to prevent additional cracking or major damage from occurring.

When is Repointing Necessary?
Similar to those in a windshield hit by a stone, cracks in brick and mortar can begin small.  In the very same manner, the crack cmay slowly grow, threatening the integrity of the masonry structure.  It will then start to break up and could potentially collapse (depending on the area).  At this point, repointing is necessary.

How Often Should You Repoint?
Repointing is only necessary when damages must be repaired.  As in tuckpointing, a professional masonry contractor is capable of locating each area of masonry that requires repointing.  If you have several masonry structures that require brick repair, specifically repointing,  it is best to repair them all at the same time.
If you seek tuckpointing or repointing or other masonry repair in Chicago, please contact us!