Bricks, an incredible building material, give your home a longer lasting and safer structure to live in, and although they do have longevity, like everything else in life, they need care to function at their best level. The answer to freshen your bricks may be brick repair, often called brick pointing, which gives a face lift to your home without incredible expense by replacing the old, crumbling mortar joints between bricks with new mortar, creating a stronger joint with more visual appeal.
Worn out mortar leads to a weaker structure, but brick repair enhances your home’s beauty and strength because mortar provides support. Brick requires less maintenance than other materials; however, it still exists. All materials need maintenance to keep them beautiful and structurally sound. With age, mortar joints get weaker and begin to disintegrate, hey, kind of like human joints! Even though crumbling mortar may make you feel like your structure is on its last legs, the application of new mortar makes for a fresh look with more strength.
What are the Steps?
If the job is relatively small and you want to try it as a do-it-yourself project, here are the steps needed.
To repair the issue and create a stronger structure, first you need to examine the area and begin with a small area, maybe 3 x 5 feet so as not to weaken the structure.
It’s possible to repair by hand, but not very easy, so investing in a cold chisel, handheld grout saw, joint raker, and maybe an angle grinder if you know how to use one, will make the job easier.
It’s best to wet the area, then use a mechanical tool to clean the mortar out, working at a depth of 1 to 1.5 inches, scrape the area, use a whisk to sweep it, and mix new mortar, being careful to make sure it matches the current mortar. Different mortars are needed depending on the age of the home because homes more than 50 years old require an alternate type of mortar. It is crucial to find the same composition as is in the original mortar.
What are the Challenges?
Working with mortar is not easy, so, if you decide to try this as a do-it-yourself project, be sure to invest in the proper tools. It is best to work with small batches in cooler months. A trowel is a must for spreading and scraping. Misting daily after the work is completed makes for a more successful repair. Although brick repair leads to great results, this tedious job is tough on your lungs, so take care to follow some expert advice and wear a respirator to avoid breathing in the mortar dust.
This type of project needs careful planning and an honest assessment to see if a professional masonry company is the best route to obtain the most favorable outcome. Brick repair is not a cure all. It does not fix underlying issues such as foundation issues with settling and water ingress. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, so when brick issues first begin, such as crumbling mortar, water can enter and cause significant troubles. Paying attention to these elements in your home when first noted will lead to a less expensive overhaul than ignoring it and hoping it will get better.
Call on Turnbull Masonry
There are several times when brick repair is not the answer, and it is not an easy task to pull off.
If you feel that your home would benefit from brick repair, call on the experts at Turnbull Masonry when your brick is in need of quality repair or restoration. Our family-owned business, Homestar’s “best of” for seven years running, would love to give you a quote to see if your home is a candidate for enhancement through brick repair.