This is a very common question that we receive from homeowners. Unfortunately, the answer is not as straight forward as one would hope. There are many variables that come into play. It is impossible to provide a standard price for tuckpointing by square foot for example. But if we had to provide a parameter for how much does tuckpointing cost, it would be between $10-$20 per square foot. Here is a list of variables that will determine how much it will cost to tuckpoint your property.

  • Will the old mortar be removed at least ¾” in depth?

Many fly by night companies will not remove the old mortar in a satisfactory way. The old mortar should be grinded out at least ¾” in depth to ensure long life for the new mortar. Some companies leave the old mortar in the joints and simply tuckpoint over. This causes many problems almost immediately. When the old, brittle and failing mortar is not removed the new mortar does not adhere to the joints and actually traps moisture in between the old and new mortar. Instead of lasting decades you will be forced to re tuckpoint this poor craftsmanship in the matter of months or a few short years.

  • What type of rigging is involved?

One of the biggest expenses for tuckpointing a property is the amount of rigging that is involved. In order to safely rig pipe scaffolding or a swing stage takes expertise and additional time. If you own a ranch house that is 7’ high, the cost to tuckpoint will obviously be lower than if you own a 3 flat. You definitely do not want a company to cut corners while rigging, this is when injuries can occur and as a homeowner you may be liable for medical expenses, especially if the masonry company does not carry Commercial General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.

That’s why “spot pointing” is also difficult to estimate cost. The time to rig the scaffolding often far exceeds the time to tuckpoint a spot here and a spot there. Please keep this in mind when you only have a small area that you feel needs to be addressed.

  • What permits are required for tuckpointing?

Every municipality has different rules for what is required to allow tuckpointing in their Village or city. For example, many municipalities require a mason contractor to be a registered contractor in their municipality and some cities, like Chicago, require the mason to be licensed in order to pull a permit. These permits can cost between $600-$1,000. Once again, if you go with a mason contractor that is unlicensed or under insured you can potentially receive citations, be fined and/or face litigation if a worker is injured on your property.

The city of Chicago also requires an Air Pollution Control permit if the tuckpointing will be using an electric grinder. Even with a dust minimization plan in place this will increase the cost of tuckpointing in Chicago.

These are just a few variables of what can affect the cost of tuckpointing. If the price sounds to good to be true, it probably is. The mason is probably not licensed, does not carry the required insurance and will not be able to pull the required permits. The work may also be sub-standard costing the additional time and money when they have to redo the work in short order.

Please feel free to contact FocalPoint Masonry Inc for a proposal on your tuckpointing job on the northwest side of Chicago and the northwest suburbs. Call (847)496-3343

Tuckpointing involves removing and replacing deteriorating mortar with fresh mortar.  Mortar can fail for a variety of reasons including but not limited to shoddy workmanship, erosion from moisture and extreme temperature changes. Brick buildings exposed to hot Chicago summers and then extremely cold winters present unique challenges. Another factor can be the weight from the overhead bricks. Bricks can often last close to a century, unfortunately the lifespan of mortar is typically 25 to 30 years—meaning it will need replacement or repointing more than once during the life of a brick building.

Mortar joints happen to be the weakest part of a brick wall, therefore it is common to see cracks running through the joints, even if the bricks remain intact. A few small cracks do not signify the need to tuckpoint, but when the mortar joints begin to crumble and mortar begins to fall out, property owners should repair it before any additional mortar affects the integrity of the wall. More importantly if deteriorating mortar isn’t repaired, water infiltration is much more likely and it could eventually cause the wall or chimney to collapse. Chimneys are especially vulnerable to the elements as they are the highest point of the building and most exposed to wind, rain, sleet and snow.

FocalPoint Masonry employs highly skilled brick masons who will restore your buildings brick mortar joints to near original condition. This insures decades of a strong and aesthetically pleasing structure. Please contact us today for a free estimate.

Maintenance on a property, especially one that has brick and/or stone exterior, is essential to keep repair costs down. Regularly maintaining the property can prevent big ticket repairs down the line. There are many examples of maintenance versus repair when discussing masonry materials and sealants. It is recommended and almost required to perform either an annual or semi-annual walkthrough to gauge the conditions of your property. If the building is in a climate that experiences freezing temperatures in the winter and hot/humid conditions in the summer months more regular check-ups are necessary. This is because many of the sealants are made of materials that expand and contract with the weather, leaving them vulnerable to cracking and overall deterioration.

Anytime you see a crack whether it be on mortar joints or on a caulk sealant water infiltration is present. Water infiltration can be a huge problem for masonry materials and lead to costly masonry repairs. Tuckpointing in areas where mortar has begun to crack and wash away can prevent the need to tuckpoint an entire property. Also, making sure that masonry sealants around lintels are intact can keep those items from needing to be replaced which may cause an eye sore and an expensive repair. It is amazing what a case of NP1 stone caulk can do to reduce the need for expensive major repairs. Reducing or eliminating cracks in the mortar joints and replacing worn out seals around windows and sills can save some big money down the road.

Having a maintenance plan in place and performing regular inspections of masonry exteriors can substantially reduce the cost of masonry repairs. The last thing a property owner wants is a letter in the mail from the city stating that they are in violation of Code X, Y or Z. Those are the most expensive repairs and can really hurt a property owner. Plan ahead and perform regular maintenance and these violations and expensive repairs will not be required.