The PMR Blog
Do I Need a Mortar Analysis?
Posted 2013-01-10 by Bob Neas in Mortar

Pointing, tuckpointing, Repointing these terms all refer to the application of mortar between masonry units. Mortar allows water and moisture that gets trapped behind the façade to permeate out and to absorb any pressure or compression from movement of masonry thus protecting the masonry units from damage caused by movement. When you notice the mortar between masonry joints cracking or spalling, it may be time to repoint your masonry building.

When preparing to repoint your historic masonry building it is recommended to first have the mortar analyzed by a professional not only to find an identical match, but also to identify the correct properties needed to prevent the surrounding or original mortar and brick from being damaged further.

Although mortar is typically composed of just Portland cement, sand, lime and water, getting the correct ratio is essential to preserving historic masonry and to properly stop cracking or spalling masonry. These ratios determine the compressive strength and permeability of the mortar. And when it comes to brick and stone buildings and especially historic masonry every structure is different. In historic masonry the mortar was not manufactured and therefore there is no standard mortar used. In order to properly match the original compressive strength, color, and texture, a professional should perform a mortar analysis.

If you live in Philadelphia, PA, NJ, or DE, Contact us for a mortar analysis or any other masonry concerns you may be experiencing.

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