Tuckpointing is a process that involves removing and replacing the old mortar joints with new mortar. The mortar joints themselves can be made to look like different types of stone and brick by using colored mortar.
Tuckpointing is also sometimes called re-pointing or repointing, but these terms are not interchangeable. The tuckpointing Chicago process refers only to the process of adding new mortar to an existing wall while repointing refers to the entire process including tuckpointing, cleaning, and any necessary repairs needed before tuckpointing can begin.
The reason that tuckpointing is often necessary is due to water infiltration through the joints. Water enters through cracks and dissolves the lime in the old mortar, causing it to crumble away from the wall over time. Eventually, this crumbling leads to larger holes that need repair before they become bigger problems for your home’s structural integrity.