Part 3: Point Me in the Right Direction
Repointing involves the removal of deteriorating mortar between brick or stone and replacing it with new mortar. Mortar prevents water damage by keeping moisture from infiltrating a masonry façade. There are many different ways you can point your building. Let’s consider some of the different mortar joints...
Flush – Excess mortar is cleaned or wiped away from the mortar joint, leaving the mortar joint and surrounding brick level and smooth.
Concave – Using special tools mortar is compacted in the joint (Recommended Site), creating a strong water-resistant mortar joint that curves inward.
V Joint – Similar to a concave joint, mortar is compacted inward. However with this joint, using a trowel, the mortar is compacted in a horizontal V.
Weathered – Mortar is recessed into a slope downward. This type of joint is not as compact as a concave joint but still very weather resistant.
Raked – Mortar is raked out of the joint, creating an even joint that is shallower than surrounding brick. While this joint is appealing, it is not very water-resistant, as water tends to collect in the bottom edge of the joint.
Weeping - Mortar is piped or squeezed into the joint and excess mortar is not removed, creating a look like the mortar is weeping or spilling out from the mortar joints.
Get your façade inspected by an expert seasonally, semiannually, or annually! When you see mortar crumbling between the bricks it’s clear that the brick façade will need to be repointed. However, there could be another problem that is causing the deterioration, in which case it would be best to have an expert properly analyze deterioration and determine the cause before beginning repairs.
Mortar must be softer than brick! Masonry walls are rigid so often freeze-thaw cycles can cause expansion-contraction and ultimately the masonry to crack over time. When the mortar is softer than brick, it alleviates stress from freeze-thaw cycles and prevents damage to the brick.
Need an expert for you commercial or historic masonry. If you live in Philadelphia, PA, NJ, or DE contact us to set up a free façade consultation.