We all know that looking after our homes and buildings is essential. Unfortunately, it can also be expensive, especially if you ignore the tell-tale signs that things require a touch-up or repair. One particular need that often needs addressing is repointing the bricks in your home. By not being aware of this, you put your home at risk. For example, wind can always find a way through cracks, which makes your home draughty, and keeps your bills for heating up high – not something anyone wants!
Plus, while your bricks will stand the test of time and weather, your mortar will not. It often becomes unsightly alongside the issue mentioned above. Then there is the cost. The longer you leave repointing, potentially more damage is happening, and when you cannot put off repairs any longer, the price will be so much higher than repointing your walls earlier.
What Is Repointing?
Repointing is when you remove old mortar from your brickwork and add new, fresh mortar to a building’s brickwork. Bricks need mortar to distribute weight and keep them in their place. As it is a non-absorbent mixture, moisture will stay on the outside surface, eliminating dampness. Repointing is needed when cracked, disintegrating and damaged mortar is replaced with new mortar to return to its original state of function.
Tell-Tale Signs Your Mortar Needs Repointing
- Damaged bricks
- Efflorescence – the white deposits you can see on your brickwork. This is due to water and dissolved salts rising to the brick’s surface.
- Damp – penetrating damp from the damaged or decayed mortar that is letting water seep through the bricks.
- The outside of your home starts to look unpleasant—which is not a good thing if you are considering selling— and not much fun for you to look at either.
Talk To The Experts
Repointing is not a job for amateurs. It is essential that repointing is done professionally to ensure that your building needs mortar to ensure correct weight-bearing. To do this incorrectly can lead to some major problems in the future. A professional will know what damage needs repairs, as seen in the case of efflorescence, where replacing the bricks could be the best solution.
In some cases, the mortar may have been applied wrong or in such a way that the wall becomes damaged. In particular, this can happen when using modern mortar. This is because the more modern mortar, instead of traditional lime mortar, can trap moisture, preventing it from escaping. As a result, the moisture’s only recourse is to emerge on the brick face, where it could freeze and the bricks crumble.
Did you know that when working with masonry, you should never go below two °C? A professional will know. Meaning he will not repoint a building through a British winter. Alongside it getting too cold, wind and rain, a regular part of UK weather, would damage any new mortar, defeating the object of replacing it.