I recently bought a 72-year-old brick house in the St. Louis area. During the inspection process, it was noted that the house had external joint deterioration and would be in need of tuckpointing. From what I hear, tuckpointing is very expensive and my wife and I may be moving on to a new city in the next couple years.
1) What are the risks of not tuckpointing (and placing the burden on the next owner)?
2) The house is 2-story, 2300 sq. ft. (floor). What would be the approximate cost of tuckpointing? You can assume that the brick is easily accessible in most places and the mortar is pretty flaky (i.e. you can scrape it out with a screwdriver).
3) Finally, is there anyway to tell if the deteriorating joints are causing (structural) problems? We haven't noticed any water in the house or significant external cracks. Some walls inside have recent, small cracks but this could be normal for such an old house I think...
Any advice would really be appreciated as this is such a major decision for us.
Tuckpointing is labor intensive, but not hard. If you want to do it yourself, it is dirt cheap.
If you bought it knowing the condition of the mortar joints, what is to say that the next person won't?
The damage from deteriorated mortar is insidious and usually not that noticable until there is a serious problem. Knowing that you have an issue, as noted on your inspection, and reselling it without repairing or disclaiming it when you sell could open you up to a whole lot of legal mudwrestling. I assume you have noted some of the mold litigation in the last 5 years or so?