Brick walls are very durable and can survive harsh conditions as well as various forms of harm for many years. Mortar, a substance that forms a strong binding, is used to glue together each individual brick in the wall. However, even the most sturdy brick walls eventually fall down due to the passage of time. The mortar around the joints is often the first place to crumble, although the consequences of erosion may be mitigated by brick restoration.
Erosion and Brick Repair, Generally
Brick walls are generally long-lasting, however they are not impenetrable to erosion as certain other types of walls are. Brick and mortar both swell and shrink as a result of changes in the amount of moisture present. The natural swelling and shrinking of the bricks and mortar over time, which is caused by water penetrating the structure, eventually leads to erosion, also known as the crumbling away of the mortar. According to This Old House, the eroded areas are often chiselled off, and the repointing procedure replaces the mortar. Both of these steps are included in the brick restoration process.
Brick that has been damaged by erosion may be repaired by patching over the existing mortar rather than removing the disintegrating areas. This technique of repairing bricks is known as “tuck-pointing,” but according to This Old House, it is not a procedure that can be used permanently. Repairing damaged joints by tuck-pointing creates a tenuous connection between the old and new mortar layers. Between the joints, there should not be any mortar that is left loose or spongy in any way. Should they be left behind, they will render your brick restoration useless.
Removing and Fixing the Damage
By scraping away the deteriorating mortar until you reach the smooth surface of the brick, you create a more favourable bonding environment for mortar restoration solutions to adhere to. Digging out damaged joints at least to the same depth as their width is recommended. To remove the crumbling mortar, slide a grout saw between the horizontal joints, and then dig out the areas that are crumbling to a depth of at least one and a quarter inches. Check that the brick is free of any remnants of mortar and clean it thoroughly.
Dig out vertical joints using the sharp end of a 5-in-1 painter’s tool, which resembles a putty knife but has a U-shape cut out of one side, a curved, sharp edge on the other side, and a flat scraper end, as Ron Hazelton points out. This tool is similar to a putty knife but has a U-shape cut out of one side, a sharp edge on the other side, and a flat scrap To remove the old mortar from the joints, first break it up using a hammer on the end of the 5-in-1 tool, and then use a brush with firm bristles to remove the dust from in between the joints. The new mortar will absorb water from the old mortar, which will cause the new mortar to become less strong. You can guarantee that the new mortar will adhere correctly by first thoroughly moistening the bricks and the joints.
Spray the damaged area with water until it is completely soaked, then let it alone for approximately 24 hours. When you are ready to apply the fresh mortar, spray the area with water once more until it is completely soaked. In many separate batches, thoroughly combine the fresh mortar. The quantity of water that should be added is determined by both the amount of mortar being used and the manufacturer. In most cases, you want to include an amount of water that results in a substance having the consistence of peanut butter.
When applying the fresh mortar to the joints, a repointing trowel should be used. You may press it in using the flat side of the trowel, but you shouldn’t attempt to fill all of the joints all at once. Instead, you should make three or four passes down the wall, pushing in a thin layer of mortar each time, until the surface of the newly added mortar is level with the surface of the wall. Before moving on to the next layer, ensure that each layer has been allowed to dry for around thirty minutes, and then use the edge of the trowel to remove any lumps or protrusions that have formed.
Replacement mortar (mix as needed)
!!-!! Grout saw!!-!! The 5-in-1 painter’s tool set
Brush with short, stiff bristles!!-!! Spray bottle or garden hose
Trowel for pointing repoints
Hose or spray bottle