Tuckpointing is the process of restoring or repairing of a mortar joint. This is a more common brick siding repair process than brick replacement. The mortar joint is a significant part of the wall siding because it bears the forces exerted by the wall and the bricks. It also serves as water-proofing of the wall. It is called tuckpointing because a pointing trowel is used to tuck mortar into a damaged joint. It is fairly easy to accomplish, without even hiring a contractor. However, it requires some patience and finesse.
Masonry cement and mixing sand are the ingredients of mortar. You can change the strength and consistency of the mortar, depending on the siding repair requirements (eg. old vs. new houses). This depends on the ratio of sand and cement. There are also ready-to-use mixtures. You just need to mix them with water. The key here is to come up with a pudding-like mixture that you can slice with your trowel. If you are working on old walls, it is best to consult handyman contractors on the right type of mortar mixture.
You begin this siding repair method by removing loose mortar from the damaged area. You also need to clean adjacent mortar areas for easier repair. You can prepare mortar joints by using a cold chisel or a power tool, like a power drill or wheel. The goal is to chisel out a depth of 0.75-1 inch from the repair area. When using a cutting wheel, simply cut the joint on the center line. If you are using a chisel, avoid striking the brick to prevent cracking.
After the preparation, the actual replacement of the bricks is the fun part. Butter the wall-bound sides of the brick. Then, push the brick with ample pressure, just enough to make the mortar ooze out a bit. Proper curing of the mortar is important to brick siding repair. It will help to spray a little water on the bricks after mounting them. You can also cover the repair area with plastic for a few days. This will aid in curing and producing a durable siding.