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Tuckpointing: Hiring a Pro

Does your brick wall look like it’s falling apart? The good news is, it most probably isn’t (unless your bricks are a hundred years old or more, then we might have a problem). The bad news is— the mortar is probably the culprit. Mortar is the stuff that holds the bricks together. Obviously, it’s a pretty important feat, if you don’t want your buildings to collapse on you. 

While 30 years is a long time, if we’re talking about the lifespan of a mortar— believe me. That’s pushing it. You should get tuckpointing, at least like every 30 years. So it can stay intact, ya hear? But if you live in a place where it rains ever so often— you need to call up your tuckpointing company time and time again. 

But what is tuckpointing? Well, tuckpointing is a process to refine and protect masonry. It removes some of the mortar that’s falling apart, then applies newly mixed mortar (same to that as the color of your bricks) to the joints— then scrape lines in the joints to create a clean, picture-perfect brick structure.

Seems pretty straightforward, huh? You might be asking— can I just DIY it to save a few bucks down the road? While you may be good with your hands, it’s best to call in a professional mason this time around. Tuckpointing is hard, exhaustive labor. And you need to be pretty experienced for it to turn out well. Plus, if your bricks are stacked up pretty high— a scaffold or a ladder is not exactly safe for tuckpointing hobbyists. 

So first off, how do we even get hold of a pro?

Right off the bat— a quick search on tuckpointing near me will do. Research the tuckpointing companies in your area. You can find out if they’re legitimate by scrolling down the customer reviews. Once you view their website, it’s all pretty much there.

After you find some reputable ones— here’s a tip I’ll share. Ask more than one truck to point their quote on your bricks. Usually, tuckpointing prices vary from $9 to $15 per square foot. Ask around, and you’ll know who’s cheapest. 

But, as always, take my advice with a grain of salt. While saving is important and all that, slashed prices doesn’t always mean quality work. As I said, search their reviews up. Then you can decide which price point is worth it. You’re welcome.

Once you get a hold of a tuckpointing company, they’ll come to your property and do the job. If you’re curious— here’s what they’re gonna do, step by step.

  1. The professional will get rid of the old mortar with an angle driver. If you’re planning to watch up close— you’ll need a respiratory mask. Because of dust and all that.
  2. They’ll dust up the leftover remains before getting to the nitty-gritty.
  3. The masons will mix the new mortar with the same color as your bricks. (For a sleek finish. Fancy.)
  4. They’ll put the mortar in the joints, which are the gap between the bricks and smooth it out.
  5. They’ll scrape a line in between so it looks as good as new.

That’s it! Pretty straightforward, dontcha think? If your brick walls need some restoration done, call the tuckpointers— and there’s no better time than now. 

Tree Removal: The Process

You have a tree. It’s either dying, infested, diseased, or simply just unwanted. As much as it breaks your heart (or not), for the sake of the people around you— tree removal is a necessity.

But you can’t just outright remove a tree right off the bat. We have rules, yanno. Like legit rules, depending on your area. You gotta check if your city is under the Tree City USA Program. Depending on the requirements— they will or will not allow you to cut your tree. Well unless you have a very good reason to. 

If you’re in the rural area— they won’t care much, but the same can’t be said for the city. It might be kinda annoying that they’re dictating what you do to your own tree. But they have their reasons, just like you do. In these cases, it would be best to contact a professional arborist if removal is indeed possible. If it is, then let’s get started.

Oh wait. Before you make any plans of DIY-ing your tree removal instead, for this case— especially if you live in a particularly dense community, I would advise against it. Tree removal without any prior knowledge, experience and proper equipment, could put the surroundings near it at risk.

So, the question is— how is the process done?

Let me give you a rundown.

Firstly— contact arborists who specialize in tree service and tree care. You could search companies near you with a click of a button. And finding them isn’t really all that hard, but choosing one is. Make sure you hire a reputable arborist with good customer reviews. 

If you’re worrying about the cost— a small one ranges $200-$450 dollars. Meanwhile, bigger trees hit the thousands ceiling. It all depends on the shape, and the type of the tree. But if you’re still thinking how much you can save if you do it yourself. This is for you.

Reminder: your safety is not negotiable. Seriously. 

Okay, now that’s put aside— once you get in contact with the arborists, they’ll inspect the tree and you’ll come to an agreement.

Before you do the actual stuff— you should clear the way. Anything breakable and anything that would disrupt the flow of the workers should be removed. They’re gonna be coming in and out.

If your estate is big enough to let the tree fall on its own, then that’s what they’ll do. They’ll cut a V-shape almost radius deep on the side they want the tree to fall— and cut the opposite side as well.

 If your home is in a dense area, or near utility poles— then the professionals will cut the tree branches. Lower it with a rope. And work their way down. This method is way more safe, but also time-consuming.

Whatever happens with the wood is in your hands. You can request to chop ‘em, make them into firewood, or stack them in a place where you’ll never see them again. It’s all up to you and what you want.

In the end, all that will be left is a short stump. In place of where your tree used to be. If you still want it removed, there should be an additional fee.

Now that’s done— always remember, to make your tree removal a safe one, hiring the pros is the best option. No matter how much you want your tree to fall sideways and destroy your annoying neighbor’s yard. They could always press charges, you know.