How To Repair Mortar Joints

Posted on: 29 June 2018

Brick and mortar masonry should be done by professionals. However, many minor repairs to face brick can actually be a basic DIY project for the person who has the right tools. The most common masonry repair is replacing and reinforcing mortar in between the bricks. Mortar can crumble within the space between bricks, which can cause the actual brick pieces to become loose and even fall out over time.

Before you can add new mortar to your existing walls, you need to remove most of the existing mortar. This needs to be done with power tools. The technique often called "tuck-point", refers to the removal and replacement of mortar on a complete brick wall. The goal is to replace the mortar without having to move or change any of the actual brick. This article explains how to tuck-point like a pro.

Using an Angle Grinder

The first tool you need is an electric- or battery-powered angle grinder. This simple power tool will enable you to grind out all of the loose mortar within your joints. The blade attachment that you use should be thinner than your joints. You want to avoid grinding away the actual brick. You don't need to grind out all of the mortar, just about 1/4 of it. That is, if your bricks are 4" deep, just grind out the first 1" of the mortar. This way, you will have a consistent 1" of space to fill in the area that you just removed.

It is tempting to just grind the areas where the old mortar is already falling out. However, this could present you with a new problem later on. That is, when you refill these spots with new mortar, the old and new products will look different in their color and texture. So, it often makes more sense to remove all of the mortar in a line or section, so that you can refill it all at once more easily.

Adding New Mortar

Once all of your damaged joints are hollowed out and cleaned up, you can add the replacement mortar. You need to buy a tuck-pointer trowel that is the exact width of your joints. This tool enables you to refill the joints and leave behind a smooth mortar line that is perfectly flat and fills in the entire space.

Tuck-pointing, as you can see, is not as difficult as many people expect it to be. To learn more, contact a company like Sposato Masonry


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