Brick is one of the oldest and strongest building materials used in construction. It has long been a popular choice among homeowners due to its aesthetic appeal and durability. One of the most common misconceptions about bricks is that you can just forget about it once it’s set. Contrary to this popular belief, brick, as well as the mortar that keeps it together requires regular maintenance.
The process of repairing brick mortar joints is called brick pointing. This is a specialized field. You can read more about it here: Brick Pointing Process Sydney.
Commonly used as a material for exterior walls, brick may start to show signs of wear and tear as years go by. Because it is constantly exposed to various elements, the mortar, or the material that binds the bricks together may soften and eventually crumble. This is even more common on older Sydney homes, where lime was a more common additive for brick mortar.
Once the mortar starts to crumble, it will leave gaps between the bricks and this can cause a string of problems if not addressed right away. Apart from causing potential water leakage, there’s also a possibility that the bricks will fall apart.
Repairing deteriorated mortar joints, or brick repointing, is a pretty easy process. However, since it’s a time consuming and painstaking task, a lot of homeowners are intimidated to do it on their own. If you have a knack for repairing and you want to fix your brickwork on your own, below are some steps on how to do so.
1. Get rid of the old mortar.
The first step in repointing is to remove the old mortar between your bricks. It’s best to use the proper tools for this so that you won’t end up having chipped and scratched bricks. Grind it back to 25-30mm deep. As a tip, make sure that you’re wearing safety goggles when doing this to protect your eyes from flying debris.
Professional tip: if any bricks are especially worn, then grind them right out and turn them around! The result is a neat new brick that matches your old style exactly.
2. Hydrate the wall.
Before putting new mortar on your brick wall, spray some water on it and let it soak overnight. Doing so allows the mortar to stick inside.
3. Mix the new mortar.
Finding the right mortar for your brick wall is a tricky business. It can be frustrating because it can be very difficult to find a perfect match, especially if you have decades or centuries-old brickwork. Experts say that if your house is less than half a century old, then it’s safe to use a cement mortar, but if your house is older than 50 years, then it’s advisable to use a different mix.
4. Apply the new mortar.
Using a trowel, scrape the mortar into the wall and fill in the gaps. Once it starts to harden, pack in more mortar and let it set. Even better, like the professional brick pointers, use a mortar injection gun. This ensures better coverage and connection inside the joint itself.
5. Scrape the excess.
After about an hour, or before the mortar has fully set, scrape off any excess mortar on the brick itself. Make sure to do this carefully so as not to damage the newly applied mortar.