What is Mortar?
Mortar is used as the foundation for certain types of building materials, including brick and flagstone. A mortar joint is the strip of mortar between bricks or stones, which holds the structure together. Without mortar, a beautiful brick house would crumble into a giant pile of rubble.
Unfortunately, mortar joints are also the most vulnerable parts of a structure. Bricks can stand up to most water, ice, expansion, contraction, and other conditions, but mortar joints are more elastic and absorb the water more easily. This leads to deterioration of the mortar, which leads to weakening and deterioration of the structure. The most vulnerable areas are under windows and walls, around chimneys, behind downspouts, at ground level, and on exposed wall tops.
When mortar joints become eroded and cracked due to moisture, they need to be repaired. This process is called pointing, repointing, or tuckpointing. It is a slow, meticulous process that should be undertaken by an expert with professional tools and knowledge. Such an expert will be able to repair a brick structure without damaging bricks or altering the appearance of the structure. Changes made during repointing can appear very visible when done hastily. A professional will chip out old, loose mortar, clean the joints, and mix the new mortar. They will then fill the joints with new mortar, making sure to fill vertical joints last.
After this, the joints are raked using a raking block. The bricks are then swept and cleaned. Once the mortar joints have been repaired, the structure needs to be protected from future damage. This can be done by applying a polyurethane caulk where the brick meets other materials, such as stucco or wood. This caulk should match the color of the structure. Misting the new mortar twice a day for a few days after it is installed will also help the mortar harden and become more resistant to water damage. This can be done with a simple hand pump sprayer or garden hose.
Contact Carlton Cleans for Your Mortar Repair Needs
Carlton Cleans is your answer for any of your mortar repair needs. We have experience in mortar repair for fireplaces, exterior walls, home exterior, and more. Contact us today for a free estimate.