Posted on: 2 September 2018Share
It is not uncommon for the mortar joints in your brick or masonry walls to break down over time. The mortar can crack and crumble in areas and may need to be replaced. Before any work can be done to repair it, having it inspected by a qualified mason is critical. Determining if the joints can be repaired in place or whether the structure needs to be taken apart and rebuilt is important.
Inspection Of The Mortar
The mason that you call will need to come and inspect the structure before any determination can be made as to how it should be repaired. He will look at the joints and may pull at the mortar and the bricks to see if they are still tight or not. In many cases, the bricks can be left in place and the mortar replaced with new mortar. It can be a time-consuming process but it is better than having to tear down and replace an entire wall.
Preparing the Wall
To get the wall ready for repair, the mason and his crew will go over the entire wall with wire brushes and tools, looking for any loose mortar and removing it. Any loose mortar that is left behind can cause problems with the new mortar if it is left in place. After the entire surface has been gone over and all the loose material removed, the mortar can be replaced. The removal process can take some time so don't be surprised if it seems like they are spending a lot of time just picking at the old mortar. This step needs to be done properly for the repair to last.
Filling The Gaps
Once all the old material has been removed, the joints can be filled with new mortar. Using a process called tuck pointing, the mason will use a trowel to push new mortar into the joint then he will shape the joint to match the rest of the wall. He will continue this painstaking process until all the joints are filled and the face of them are contoured to match the existing joints. Even the best masons take their time with this to ensure that the mortar fills the joint properly. It can take a lot of time, but the end result will be worth the time spent on the project. Once all the joints have been filled, the mortar is allowed to dry and the repair is complete. For extremely weathered walls, the mason can tint the mortar to better match the old mortar and if it is done right, you will not be able to see the repair.
Contact a company, like G.H. Erickson & Son, for more help.