Brick Repointing – Everything You Need to Know
When you think of your home, the mortar between the bricks is the last thing to pop up in your head. But this is an important part of the structure that can wear out over time and cause major structural damage. So, here’s everything you need to know about brick repointing to ensure you can take care of the situation before it is too late.
Brick repointing is the process of repairing damaged or weakened mortar between bricks...
What is Brick Repointing?
Brick repointing is the process of repairing damaged or weakened mortar between bricks. Over time, mortar can crack or break down from exposure to weather and other elements, which can put your home at risk of structural damage.
Bricks can be repointed using water repellent compounds that prevent moisture from entering the cracks of your home’s mortar. And the compound used for brick repointing can also be a mix that contains lime and sand, so it matches the original look and colour of your brickwork.
When is the Right Time for Brick Repointing?
Mortar can deteriorate for a number of reasons: moisture, corrosion, erosion and natural shifting of buildings can all cause the mortar to crack and crumble.
If you notice chunks of mortar falling down, leaving gaps between bricks and exposing them to the elements, it means your brick wall is at risk of deterioration. Other signs that your bricks needs repointing include:
- Discoloured or stained bricks – from water penetration.
- Efflorescence – when salt deposits form on masonry surfaces because they’re exposed to water penetration.
- Gaps appearing between the bricks.
- Horizontal cracks in the walls.
Once the outer layers of brick crumble away, it can not only cause cosmetic damage to the outside of your home or building but also to the overall structure. So, when it comes to brick repointing, practice “a stitch in time saves nine.”
Determining your Brick Repointing Technique
Repointing can be done with a variety of materials, but it’s important to choose one that matches the original mortar as closely as possible. The goal is to repair the brick without making it obvious that work has been done.
It’s also important to match the technique used when repointing brick. For instance, the tuckpointing method leaves some space between the mortar and brick, creating a slight protrusion on the surface of the wall. This is a common technique for older buildings because it helps keep water from getting inside.
Alternatively, the flush pointing method fills in all available space between bricks and mortar, so there are no gaps in the wall. This creates a smooth surface that may not look as appealing, but is the most durable.
As you can see, these techniques are crucial in determining not only the structural integrity of your wall but also the appearance. So, ensure that you speak to your brick repointing contractor in detail about your needs to decide the best course of action.
Preparing for Brick Repointing
For high walls, you are going to need to make sure that you have a scaffold or ladder available for use. You also need to make sure that you have enough room to get around your workspace so that the work can be carried out as safely as possible. Besides, you need to plan according to the weather conditions. If it is raining, then make sure that you are prepared to combat the moisture.
Know your Basics
Repointing requires both experience and skill as well as knowledge of historical restoration techniques and materials. A poor job could potentially cause problems with your home’s structure down the road, so it is best to err on the side of caution when hiring a masonry contractor for this project.
Be smart and do your research. Read up and find out about everything from the right material to the contractor’s background. Also, take photos of the wall before you begin to have a visual reference once the work is completed.
Find a Brick Repointing Professional
It should be noted that brick repointing is not a do-it-yourself job. It should only be performed by an experienced brick mason. A professional masonry contractor will be able to examine your entire masonry structure to ensure that all affected areas are identified and repaired properly so that the durability of your structure can be improved. They will also be able to cut down on your project’s timeline using their skills and experience.
Halls Construction are Perth’s number one choice if you’re looking for brick repointing service that will stand the test of time. With over 25 years of industry experience, they offer high quality brick repointing and repairs throughout all of the Perth metropolitan area.
(Images courtesy of Halls Construction)