PROJECT – Masonry, Tuckpointing:

This old house in Chicago had an out of code porch and a leaking roof. The owners also wanted completely new face brick and siding.

before exterior of home

All new face brick, porch, roof, soffit/facia and gutters. What a difference!

finished exterior of home


PROJECT – Masonry, Brick Rehab:

This beautiful old building had serious masonry problems. We removed the bricks over every window in the building, installed a new steel lintel with flashing over every window, and re-installed the bricks.

exterior of tuckpointing project

Here’s one of the rusted lintels that we removed from the building above (the new primed steel lintel is on the bottom).

beam from masonry project

A lintel is a piece of steel that spans a masonry opening, usually a window or door and supports the bricks above it. Brick porches or balconies also incorporate lintels into their construction. Over time, lintels can rust and expand which pushes the bricks in the immediate area out of place. This is usually indicated by cracks in the mortar at the top edges of windows and doors. Lintels that are deteriorated should be removed and replaced before additional structural damage to the masonry wall occurs (bricks can suddenly just fall off the wall).


Masonry and Tuckpointing Repair

Brick is one of the strongest and most durable types of masonry available for the exterior of a home. With that being said, it should be expected it is one of the most costly masonry materials available. It is one of those materials that will show wear and tear with time but is easily cleaned with proper procedures. Rehabilitating the exterior of a brick house is a task that may often be done for older homes that have been exposed to the elements with no routine upkeep. Here are some of the ways these improvements can be done.

Cleaning of Masonry and Brick

Before beginning the cleaning process, it is important to determine what type of dirt, grime, and stains you are dealing with. It is not uncommon for dark stains, mold, and other types of grime to appear on aged brick. The cleaning procedure will be more successful once you determine what you are trying to clean off of the brick. Mold or mildew can be cleaned with a solution of bleach. An acid solution is recommended to clean other stains from the mortar and brick. Follow the instructions included with any cleaning products used.

Cleaning Challenges

Successful cleaning of brick will be determined by the type of products used. Many chemicals will not remove mold or algae stains as well as bleach will. There are some products on the market that are manufactured specifically for cleaning of brick. The acid solution seems to be one of the most promising methods of cleaning stains and grime other than mold or mildew. Some individuals may also pressure wash brick during the rehab process. This method works well for removing build up of grime and dirt masonry surfaces.

Masonry Repair

The mortar joints in between the brick may begin to deteriorate with age. This is more common in older homes that have experienced recent foundation settling. Tuckpointing is the process of repairing mortar joints. When mortar is cracked or missing, it is replaced with new mortar that will be pushed into the joints with a pointed tool that some refer to as a tuckpointer. After the job is complete, the mortar will match the other mortar joints in the brick or block wall.

Repair Challenges

The process of tuckpointing can be quite tedious. It is time-consuming and must be done by a professional who has knowledge and experience in masonry repairs. If repairs are done properly the exterior rehab process will have the brick or block looking almost as good as new. Between cleaning and repair, brick and block exterior rehab jobs are time-consuming and can be somewhat costly. Without specific tools, the job cannot be completed properly.

Masonry and tuckpointing home rehab can be quite a challenge for someone who is lacking experience. Like kitchen rehab, this is not the type of rehab project an inexperienced homeowner should try without proper guidance, as it could result in disastrous circumstances. You can obtain more information about the exterior rehab of brick or block structures from a variety of online resources. Here at DWD Renovation, we will be able to complete the job in a professional manner with a guarantee of workmanship.

If you are considering masonry repair or tuckpointing for your home, contact us at (773) 657-5990 for a consultation.