Repointing mortar joints guide for DIY homeowners. The basics of masonry repointing and tuckpointing. Things to learn before starting your masonry construction!
When repointing mortar joints the proper selection of mortar for masonry construction and repairs is very important. Choosing the right mortar type can lead to a durable masonry wall.
Improper selection of mortar types for a particular masonry job can result in a leaky wall or deteriorate mortar.
Mortar is the bonding agent that transforms the masonry unit and the mortar in to a lasting masonry wall. The performance of any repointing mortar joints project will be greatly influenced by the skill of the mason.
It’s best to begin with Major structural work before undertaking minor repairs and repointing mortar joints.
No matter how soiled the masonry itself is, or how much moisture it retains on the surface, much larger qualities of water will enter the wall through cracked or broken mortar joints.
In repointing mortar joints joint integrity must be attained, not only for aesthetic reasons but for structural soundness and weather protection as well.
But repointing mortar joints will not be effective if there are other sources of moisture that have not be identified and repaired.
Mortar joints can be seriously eroded over a period of years of due to the changing seasons and wetting and freezing cycles. This is especially true in oldest historical buildings where the brick and mortar joints are softer.
The mortar joints can be renewed by repointing, which is the process of removing the damaged mortar and replacing it with fresh mortar. It is not a job for an amateur and does require a high degree of skill and knowledge about matching the original mortar.
Our tuckpointing services include repairs. Tuckpointing repairs should be started when the existing the mortar joints are eroded or exposed to a depth of 1/2 ” or more, or when the mortar has shrunk away from the majority of the edges of the brick.
Many of the older types of lime-based mortar, while soft are still structurally sound, as this was the nature of lime-based mortars.
It is not generally necessarily to completely repoint all the mortar joints in an old building, but rather to repoint only the bad places, taking care to match the original color, composition and psi strength of the original mortar.
The goal is to restore the brick work to its original appearance. The texture of the aggregate is also important in achieving that original look.
When doing home projects like repointing mortar joints; avoid the tendency to rush the work because shortcuts and poor craftsmanship compare poorly with the original work and results in jobs requiring additional masonry services and repair. The most cost effective approach is not necessary the least expensive, but the one that will last the longest.