The most common reason is to remove loose or cracked mortar from brickwork or stone installations. The longevity of mortar joints will vary with the exposure conditions and the mortar materials used, but a lifespan of more than 25 years is typical. Persistent damage from water, sun, acids in the rain, changing temperatures, building settlement, impact damage, and dirt take their toll. Damaged mortar joints become a waterproofing problem, and eventually a structural issue, if not repaired. When visual inspection reveals that the mortar joints are cracking or otherwise deteriorated, restoration is necessary to help maintain the integrity of wall systems and products.
Tuckpointing and repointing are two effective ways of ensuring structural integrity and decreasing water entry into masonry.
As well as old structures tuckpointing can also be used for newer jobs where mortar may have been damaged or needs to be replaced because of different problems with colour or finish. In these instances mortar for tuckpointing must be carefully selected to ensure that the colour and texture of the new mortar closely matches the existing material that was not compromised and did not need to be removed.