Homeowner Guide: How Do You Know if You Need Tuckpointing?


Does your home need professional tuckpointing? Tuckpointing repairs the brick’s damaged mortar joints. Professional masonry restoration contractors will put fresh new mortar after removing any old failing mortar. The process can be extensive. Experienced professionals like our masonry experts at Cummins Restoration take the time and attention to detail needed to maintain the structural integrity of your home.

A Quick Inspection

Do you need to tuckpoint? Take a look at the different brick structures around your home. This can be your foundation, the chimney, or other areas. Do you need to call masonry restoration contractors? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there any cracking?
  • Do you see damage to the structural integrity?
  • Is there crumbling?
  • Does the mortar have holes?

If you aren’t sure if you see extensive damage, you can call Cummins for a professional inspection.

The Scratch Test

One simple way to tell if you need to tuckpoint is the scratch test. Wash the surfaces. Powerwashing will clean the surface well. Observe for any cracking, crumbling, and holes. Take a small sharp object. Scrape the mortar. If it comes off easily you need to call the professionals.

How Long Does Tuckpointing Last?

You only need to tuckpoint every twenty-five years or so if you do not observe any damage. If you have moved into a new home, you might need to schedule an inspection if you do not know when the home last had tuckpointing.

Don’t Wait

You don’t want to wait if you see damage. Humidity and moisture can cause serious damage over time. Like most home repairs, the sooner you address the problem the less costly repairs will be. If you wait too long, large chunks of brick may fall to the ground. This results in property damage and possible personal injury. The repair may involve an entire replacement and become a serious home repair.

Call the professionals at Cummins Restoration today. Schedule your first consultation. We are happy to answer all of your important question. Contact us now.

Does My Chimney Need Tuckpointing? 5 Signs


Does your chimney need professional repair? You can’t always tell just by looking. Sometimes the chimney has serious problems like damaged mortar joints or a rusted firebox. A damaged chimney can lead to property damage or fire. Letting issues go for a long time can result in structural damage requiring a full replacement. Tuckpointing brick and chimney repair are essential to properly maintain your chimney.

Does My Chimney Need Tuckpointing and Repair?

Sometimes chimney problems are obvious. You might notice that smoke fills up the living room when you light your fireplace. Maybe the chimney clearly leans to one side or pulls away from the house. Can you see clear damage to the mortar? Tuckpointing brick can deal with some of the more minor issues. Watch out for these problems that indicate you need professional tuckpointing and repair:

  1. Watch out for damaged mortar joints. Bricks will be exposed to moisture. This leads to large cracks, especially in harsh winter conditions. The chimney can collapse if the problems are not addressed.
  2. Sometimes bricks fall from your chimney. Spalling bricks indicate that moisture has forced the masonry to fail. The chimney crumbles over time. Deal with this issue when you first notice the problem to prevent costly long-term damage to your home.
  3. Does your fireplace have thin slices of chimney tile piled up near the bottom? Watch for cracked and shaling flue tiles. This problem may result in a house fire that will damage property and endanger lives.
  4. A cracked chimney crown allows moisture to damage the mortar and bricks of your chimney. This might cause shaling and spalling. In areas with cold winters, the constant freezing and thawing of water will cause even more extensive damage.
  5. Believe it or not, if you notice that the wallpaper near your chimney has damage, you might have a chimney problem. Damaged wallpaper often indicates problems with moisture. Be sure to schedule your inspection today to avoid structural damage.

Contact Cummins Restoration for Your Chimney Needs

You need chimney repair you can trust. Call the experts at Cummins Restoration. With decades of experience, our seasoned team will inspect and repair your chimney quickly and professionally. Call our friendly staff today. We will be happy to answer all of your chimney questions. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service. YOU are our priority. Don’t delay. Call us now.

How Often Should Tuckpointing Be Done?

While quality brickwork can last for a very, very long time, many homeowners make the mistake of improperly maintaining their brickwork. In harsh cold climates, there can be significant damage to chimneys, brickwork, retaining walls and more. Tuckpointing cinder block foundation, restoring old brick, and even replacing an entire chimney may be needed to prevent long term damage.

How Brickwork is Damaged

A number of factors can seriously damage your brickwork. You may need a professional contractor to restore your walls, foundation, and chimney. They may opt for replacing a chimney crown, tuckpointing a cinder block foundation, replacing old mortar, sealing, restoring seriously compromised brick, and fixing the structural integrity of your home.

Some of the most common reasons that bricks are damaged over time include:

  1. Heavy winds
  2. Snow and precipitation
  3. Natural wear and tear
  4. Pressure cleaning
  5. Cheap materials used in construction
  6. Age
  7. Quality of materials
  8. Ice
  9. Harsh cold climates
  10. Leaks and moisture

How Often Should You Tuckpoint?

Replace the mortar every twenty-five years. This is especially true if you live in a wet climate or an area that has severe weather conditions. Dry arid regions need less tuckpointing. Hire a professional contractor that only uses the highest quality materials and mortar. Avoid doing major tuckpointing yourself. Shoddy craftsmanship can lead to more damage. A professional licensed contractor can provide you with quality brickwork meant to last decades.

If you suspect that your mortar and brickwork is deteriorating or damaged, be sure to contact a professional contractor. Here at Cummins Restoration we provide the best quality work in the Greater Toronto Region. Our licensed and insured contractors will ensure that you receive the special attention that you deserve. Call us today for an inspection and estimate for your home. We are happy to help you. Contact us.

Can Tuckpointing Be Done in Winter?


Is it too cold for tuckpointing? For those of us who live in the harsher cold regions of the world, knowing the right time of year for tuckpointing and repointing is critical. What are the ideal conditions for tuckpointing your home? Let’s talk about it.  

Ideal Temperatures

Before you hire your masonry contractor, consider temperature and precipitation. Ideally, you want the weather to be between 5-32° C when tuckpointing and repointing. This should be the temperature the day before and up to three days after. In most parts of North America, the ideal conditions are through spring to early fall. Usually, contractors cannot do work during January and February. When considering temperature, consider forecasted highs and overnight lows, the surface temperature of the area being tuckpointed, and the outside air temperature.


Normally, contractors can work from spring to early fall. However, precipitation can prevent workers from completing a project on time. You want to avoid any heavy precipitation and snow during tuckpointing. Always look a few days before and a few days after the job. Check the forecast carefully.

Tuckpointing When It Is Cold

Professional contractors can do work during cold weather. By increasing additives to the process, they increase the heat generated by the exothermic reactions. This releases additional heat. Covering the work helps trap heat released by curing. Tarping off the work area and heating them with external heaters also helps protect cold weather construction.

These cold construction work practices protect the work from the harsh cold and precipitation. Anticipate additional costs due to labor and heating the work areas. Heated enclosures require time for setting up and breakdown. Contractors will need heat and will need to maintain any equipment used for hearing the construction.

Call our professional contractors now about tuckpointing and high-quality masonry. No matter the weather conditions, we can help you complete your project. Contact us today. We will be happy to help you.

Why Tuckpointing is the Perfect Solution for Chimney Repair


Your chimney increases your home value and adds beautiful design and aesthetic elegance to your home. Regular upkeep is important. Leaking chimney repair, tuckpointing, and regular cleaning will help you enjoy your chimney for decades to come.

What is Tuckpointing?

Many homeowners don’t realize how important tuckpointing can be. Need leaking chimney repair? Repair the masonry of your chimney with tuckpointing. The chimney mortar deteriorates over time because of moisture, weather, and water damage. This weakens the overall structure and can lead to long-term, and costly, damage. Tuckpointing will stop the destructive process. Tuckpointing replaces the mortar and provides an overall attractive appeal by combining two contrasting mortar colors.

Why Tuckpointing Helps

The bricks in your home will last for decades and decades. However, the mortar does not last as long. Excess water and extreme weather conditions can cause mortar to deteriorate considerable in only a couple of decades. Tuckpointing is cost-effective. By tuckpointing you can replace the mortar and solidify the structure of your chimney. Waiting on repair can lead to chimney collapse. Rebuilding a chimney from scratch can be prohibitively costly. Additionally, a damaged chimney can potentially pose a fire hazard or allow debris and water damage to enter your home.

How to Find a Chimney Repair Professional

You want a chimney repair specialist that has a long history of success. Quality materials and years of experience will ensure that your home will be repaired to your satisfaction. Help us answer all of your essential tuckpointing questions. Contact our chimney repair professionals for an inspection, estimate, and consult for your home.

The Difference Between Tuckpointing and Repointing

Tuckpointing TorontoAlthough they refer to 2 different processes the terms tuckpointing and repointing are often used interchangeably. This perhaps because they both involve replacing mortar in brickwork. However the 2 processes use different approaches; one largely utilitarian the other utilitarian but with an aim that is more overtly cosmetic. Below we’ll take a closer look at both processes as well as what’s involved with each and when you might want or need to call for tuckpointing or repointing.

Repointing or Tuckpointing? Toronto Homeowners Need to Know

When the mortar between your brickwork breaks down you’ll need to have it repaired as quickly and effectively as possible. But do you need repointing or tuckpointing? Toronto brick repair experts Cummins Restorations explain the difference.

  • Repointing – Mortar on brickwork, particularly older brickwork, tends to get brittle over time and either fall out or be forced out by the house settling, the freeze/thaw cycle of water that is trapped in tiny cracks or because of accident. Replacing it as quickly as possible is key to maintaining the integrity of your home’s brickwork and the safety of everyone inside. Repointing involves a straight up replacement of the damaged mortar. Any loose or otherwise compromised mortar is removed from between the bricks and a 1 for 1 replacement occurs with new mortar filling in the space. Repointing is without a doubt the simpler of the two methods and is extremely effective at repairing damage to your mortar.
  • Tuckpointing – Where repointing and tuckpointing converge is that they both involve removing any loose or damage mortar. Where they diverge is in how they go about replacing it. With repointing the damaged mortar is replaced straight up with new mortar, typically white. With tuckpointing two different colour mortars are used with one being the colour of the brickwork itself and the other being (typically) white. Once the compromised mortar is removed the two different colour mortars are used to create the impression that the mortar joint itself is thinner than it actually is. That is, the coloured mortar is used to make the bricks look bigger than they are and the joint look narrower than it is. Tuckpointing evolved more than 200 years ago as a way to imitate the look of expensive “rubbed brick” that was all the rage in England at the time and which featured the thinner joint.

Do You Need Repointing or Tuckpointing?

The mortar in your brickwork will typically start to show signs of age and/or damage 2 to 3 decades after the house is built or the brickwork installed. Signs to look for that indicate your mortar needs some TLC include:

  • Crumbling mortar
  • Fine cracks in the mortar
  • Space between the mortar and brick

If you believe you need brickwork or mortar repair call the company more Toronto homeowners trust than any other, Cummins Restorations. We’ll get someone out to look at your brickwork in a hurry, diagnose the problem and provide you an estimate for repointing, tuckpointing or any other procedure you may require. That’s Cummins Restorations for tuckpointing in Toronto on (416) 992-7965.

Hiring Professionals for Tuckpointing vs. Doing It Yourself

tuckpointing torontoChimney bricks themselves can easily last over a hundred years, but the mortar that holds the bricks together, a porous concrete mixture, is likely to begin deteriorating every 25 years or so. If this is allowed to happen, the chimney will eventually collapse, causing damage to the home it was attached to and necessitating a costly rebuild of the entire chimney.

A much less hazardous and less costly option is to invest in tuckpointing – the process of replacing the mortar on the cracks between bricks that look problematic.

What Benefits Does Tuckpointing Have?

By tuckpointing your chimney, you will:

  • Prevent water from seeping through old mortar and into the chimney. Said water can cause structural damage and cause mold or mildew, creating additional blockage and a bad smell in the chimney.
  • Increase the value of your home, as a chimney with healthy masonry is a big selling point.
  • Obviously, improve the structural integrity of your chimney, preventing the immediate need for chimney repair.

Can I Do it Myself?

Tuckpointing is a very complicated process that entails:

  • Meticulously scraping away any mortar that looks like it needs replacing.
  • Mixing new mortar that agrees with the type and exact color of the old mortar that is still good.
  • Carefully spreading the new mortar.
  • Cleaning up any excess mortar that has dripped onto bricks before it dries.

You can do it by yourself, in which case you may benefit slightly from a less costly and, possibly, more customizable experience. It is highly recommended you hire professionals for the task, however, for several reasons.

  • Doing it yourself can be extremely dangerous in a number of ways. Firstly, any job that requires you to climb over a story up on a ladder and perform a laborious but detail-oriented task while you’re up there means risking life and limb. Second, the mortar holding together chimneys is a hotspot for creosote and other toxic materials.
  • Unless the person performing the procedure is a trained expert, it is a very time-consuming task. The many hours you will save by hiring a chimney repair service to do it will more than compensate for the modest fee.
  • The chimney is a major attraction to potential home-buyers, and making mistakes while doing it yourself will devalue your home.

Luckily, the highly-skilled craftsmen at the Toronto-based Cummins Restorations are eager to perform your tuckpointing and keep your chimney safe for many years to come.

How Will Tuckpointing Benefit Your Property?

tuckpointing Toronto This is something that we’ve heard quite frequently over the past 22 years. Home and business owners alike want to know what’s in it for them when they spend their hard earned cash. They want to work out whether their home improvement budget is better spent on tuckpointing or if they would be wiser to buy that new bathroom vanity that they’ve had their eye on for a while. It’s a fair question and ultimately almost all purchases and investments that we make are weighed against the benefits that we will receive in return. To help you make your mind up in this particular instance, we’ve listed a few of the main benefits of tuckpointing below, all of which have been experienced by hundreds of Toronto homeowners that we’ve helped over the years.

Return on Investment: Is Tuckpointing Worth It?

We frequently see homeowners with properties that are in dire need of tuckpointing neglect to do so as they are not fully aware of the impact that it can have. Any money you spend on tuckpointing will help your home in the following ways:

  • Preserve Condition of Mortar Joints – This is vital from both a visual and a functional perspective. Masonry with the mortar properly intact not only looks attractive, but the mortar joints also protect it from water and a number of other threats (think of vegetation, salts and frost) that could cause more extensive damage.
  • Stronger Walls and Chimney – The worst thing that you can do when you realise that part of your wall or chimney requires repair, is do nothing. While bricks and mortar may appear strong even when damaged, just a small breach of your home’s first line of defence can lead to moisture problems indoors, lower levels of energy efficiency and uncomfortable indoor temperatures. Not to mention the fact that weathering of these areas and subsequent damage will be greatly accelerated.
  • Cost Effective Solution – Lets run through the likely scenario if you don’t invest in tuckpointing. As already mentioned, mortar joints and bricks will weather and significantly deteriorate in condition, often to the point whereby standard masonry repair will no longer be possible, meaning a tear down and rebuild is often the only viable option. As you can imagine, this would cost you considerably more than tuckpointing would have in the first place.
  • Boosts Your Property’s Value – One of the main things that property surveyors will check when inspecting your house is the quality and the condition of the masonry. They will assess whether it’s likely to need any serious repairs in the near future and this will undoubtedly have a significant impact upon the value that your home is given. Not only that, but masonry that is in good condition also looks more visually pleasing, which ensures visitors are left with a positive first impression.

Whether you’re still unsure if your home requires tuckpointing or you would like to make an appointment for a consultation with us, contact our team on (416) 992-7965.

Contact us for tuckpointing in Toronto queries

What Do You Need to Know About Tuckpointing?

tuckpointing toronto

You probably don’t pay much attention to the condition of the material that your home is made from, whether that be brick or stone. After all, it lasts forever, right? While the actual material is able to last for a long, long time (a century is not uncommon), the material that is used to join the bricks or stone together isn’t able to last for quite so long. These are known as mortar joints, and when exposed to tough weather conditions such as those found in Toronto, they may show signs of wear and tear after approximately 20 years. This is when tuckpointing is required, which is essentially repairing damaged mortar joints. If you’re not sure what tuckpointing involves or when it might be required, keep reading as we’re going to point out a number of things you need to know before contacting a masonry repair contractor.

Tuckpointing: What is it and When Your Property Might Require it

Cummins Restorations Inc. is a family run business that has been serving homeowners throughout the Greater Toronto Area for more than 20 years and during that time educating our clients to the best of our ability has always been something we’ve been committed to. There are a number of misconceptions floating around about tuckpointing and we would like to use this blog post to “set the record straight.”

  • What Does it Involve? – As already mentioned, tuckpointing at its most basic is simply repairing damaged mortar joints. When a masonry repair contractor does this, they remove the old mortar (but only to a certain depth obviously), before replacing it with new mortar, thus strengthening these joints (which is the primary goal) and improving the aesthetics of the exterior of your property.
  • Does Your Property Require Tuckpointing? – Many people struggle with determining when they need to make that call to a masonry repair contractor to have tuckpointing done. However, in reality it’s not all that complicated to tell whether it needs to be done or not. Simply scrape a key along the surface of one of the mortar joints and if it turns the mortar to powder, you need to make that call, and if it doesn’t, you don’t.
  • Is Tuckpointing Really Necessary? – There’s no clearer way to say this than “YES.” If the mortar joints at your property have deteriorated, it’s absolutely vital that tuckpointing is done, otherwise the weakened joints may cause accelerated weathering of the bricks or stones that make up your home. And if that happens, moisture may be provided with a path inside your property, which leads to a whole host of problems such as lower energy efficiency levels, mold and mildew growth, poorer living conditions etc.
  • Tuckpointing Can Save You A LOT of Money – If you don’t tuckpoint at the right time and the condition of your walls deteriorates considerably, the only solution might be to tear them down and start again. As you can imagine, that would cost considerably more than tuckpointing would.
  • Will Tuckpointing Always Fix the Problem? – No! If done too late it won’t have much of an effect. You can tell this is the case if the bricks or stones that form your wall have already become loose. Tuckpointing is designed to prevent the situation from getting as bad as this, but if it’s already at this stage the wall may need to be completely rebuilt.

If you require further information on tuckpointing, give our masonry contractors a call.