Systems Building Maintenance
Building Maintenance 'done right the first time'

Tuckpointing

Neat, attractive brick finish.

Systems Building Maintenance (formerly Advanced Masonry Preservation) is one of Perth's longest running tuckpointing specialists.  Established in 1987, our years of experience guarantee superior quality ever time!

What is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is a neat and attractive brick finish, which originated at the end of the nineteenth century.  This finish was almost universal for the treatment of facades to Edwardian and Federation style brick buildings.

Originally, the technique involved the use of two different colours of mortar, with one of those colours being aesthetically matched to the colour of the bricks themselves.  To begin, the matching mortar was applied over the original rolled joint left by the bricklaying.  This flushing is referred to as background stopping.  From there, a translucent red oxide sealer was applied to the wall.  The white tuckpointed line was then pressed neatly to the fresh flushing, leaving a precise and highly attractive brickwork finish.

Our technique follows this traditional application of flushing, with the exception of a more precise and advanced method of applying the white tuckpointed line.

Why tuckpoint your home?

  • great finish suitable for new as well as old homes
  • restores and preserves original character
  • enhances heritage appeal
  • substantially improves value
  • protects against water damage and structural defects
  • provides eye-catching finish to any building

Systems Building Maintenance has tuckpointed numerous new dwellings with great results.  These buildings produce the same aesthetic look and feel as traditional period homes.

Numerous character houses, unfortunately, have had the brickwork painted or rendered.  These applications do not preclude the dwelling from tuckpointed finishes.  Paint removal is often a difficult and problematic process.  As such, Systems Building Maintenance is fully experienced in the correct techniques to suite individual circumstances.

On occasions, after render removal, brickwork is severely damaged, preventing tuckpointing as an option.  In such cases, modified coloured render can be applied and the tuckpointing principles applied to this coloured background of mock brick.  The finished effect gives the same appealing brickwork finish.


Repointing of Fretting Mortar & Brickwork

Put simply, fretting mortar is the deterioration over time of mortar joints.

Why does this occur?

There are many reasons mortar will deteriorate, such as:

  • excess moisture due to rising damp
  • rubbish-filled wall cavities
  • lateral penetration
  • thermal movement of masonry

The Solution - Repointing

The process is usually complex and labour intensive and is undertaken to protect the building from further deterioration by preventing water from infiltrating the structure.

Solid masonry walls are bedded in mortar.  It is important to realise that it is the thickness and bonding that give a wall strength, not the mortar.  Mortar is purely to level the stones or bricks and distribute the weight of the unit evenly.  Mortar also has the sacrificial role to play, in that it draws off salts and as a result breaks down instead of the masonry.  This is why it is important to always have the mortar at a lesser density than the masonry itself.

Systems Building Maintenance is fully qualified in all types of fretted brickwork repair and the preservation of masonry walls.

Although loose and missing mortar means repairs, it will cost you a lot less to repair today than tomorrow


Mock Limestone

Mock limestone is a textured rendered finish that gives an authentic limestone appearance.  Limestone designs feature heavily in many homes, either period or modern.

Application

After the initial surface preparation, an application of a surface render is applied.  Crushed limestone is then applied over the freshly rendered surface by way of splatter gun (also known as a terylene gun).  Systems Building Maintenance uses specialised techniques to mock the original limestone block finish.  This finish can then be marked in the pattern most suited to your dwelling by choosing either pressed or tuckpointed joints, which further replicate the look of traditional stone.

 This process is far less time-consuming than the real thing, hence more cost effective.

Mock LImestone

Restoration of existing limestone blocks

A new technique of restoring discoloured original limestone has been developed by way of soda blast.  This enables the effect of a new stone finish, without any undue damage to the original block.  Of course, any cracks or chips are repaired during the process.  The condition of the limestone is dependent upon this course of repair.

Limestone can also be lime-washed in tinted colours to recreate new and appealing finishes.

For period homes, this lime-wash can be tinted or stained in ochre to give the effect of weathered character stone.

As for the rules of preservation of all masonry, particularly that used in foundations - all mock render applied together with the pointing of original joints must be renewed with soft lime mortar.  This will ensure soluble salt is drawn to the pointing joints which are sacrificial.


Decorative window sills and aprons were a feature of the Edwardian Victorian and Federation style homes and are still a popular feature in modern houses.

Being a major decorative addition to any facade, sills and aprons can easily accentuate the overall elegance, style and charater of any home.

Method of application

Original window sills were run wet by plasters in the era, but are now manufactured from a light weight concrete, which is produced in a mould.

Window sills and aprons can be replicated to match existing designs, or designed to meet your specifications.

Rendered quoins are also a part of the scope of work undertaken by Systems Building Maintenance, during restorations.

Decorative Window Sills & Aprons


While tuckpointing alone creates an authentic turn of the century appeal to a dwelling, this style of brickwork was often complimented by roughly applied render.  This render, often referred to as stucco, creates a stark - yet very appealing - contrast!

The Process

Systems Building Maintenance follows the traditional method of application which involves adding various amounts of crushed or graded charcoal over a lime-based render. 

The texture may be varied depending on the degree of "roughness" that is required.  This finish may be of a very porous nature and must be coated in the traditional manner before the painting process.

Stucco Roughcast