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  • FIRST POST
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 4th Sep 17, 1:53 PM
    • 901Posts
    • 284Thanks
    JohnB47
    Any tips for ensuring clean repointing work?
    • #1
    • 4th Sep 17, 1:53 PM
    Any tips for ensuring clean repointing work? 4th Sep 17 at 1:53 PM
    Hi all.


    It's been years since I did any brickwork but I do remember that it's tricky for a DIYer to make a clean job of the joints, particularly when repointing existing walls. It's easy to slobber the mortar all over the bricks and difficult to clean them off enough afterwards.


    I had an experienced guy do some work to our back wall, including putting in a lintel and to be honest, he made a bit of a hash of it too. A good structural job but messy to look at.


    So, has anyone got any good tips on how to do a neat job of repointing?


    Ta.
    Last edited by JohnB47; 04-09-2017 at 2:23 PM.
Page 1
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 4th Sep 17, 2:27 PM
    • 581 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    Tom99
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 17, 2:27 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 17, 2:27 PM
    I use a tool like this:

    https://www.toolstation.com/shop/p51136?mkwid=st6C5aLRY_dc&pcrid=142002554548&pkw=& pmt=&product=51136&gclid=CjwKCAjw87PNBRBAEiwA0XAIr 5lp5r3w

    Then wait for the mortar to nearly dry before brushing off the brickwork
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 4th Sep 17, 2:54 PM
    • 901 Posts
    • 284 Thanks
    JohnB47
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 17, 2:54 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 17, 2:54 PM
    I use a tool like this:

    https://www.toolstation.com/shop/p51136?mkwid=st6C5aLRY_dc&pcrid=142002554548&pkw=& pmt=&product=51136&gclid=CjwKCAjw87PNBRBAEiwA0XAIr 5lp5r3w

    Then wait for the mortar to nearly dry before brushing off the brickwork
    Originally posted by Tom99

    Thanks. Looks interesting. Yes, too much working of the mortar when wet can make a mess. Thanks for the reminder.


    BTW, do people wet the mortar course before applying mortar? Seems a good idea to me, otherwise the dry mortar sucks the moisture out of the new. Or maybe that's a bad idea?
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 4th Sep 17, 2:58 PM
    • 618 Posts
    • 304 Thanks
    Heedtheadvice
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 17, 2:58 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 17, 2:58 PM
    Make sure you have a decent depth to repoint -not small gaps so you can get plenty of mortar in.

    Ensure the brickwork his damp, spraying if necessary especially in the joints. This will help the surface dry a bit quicker but the mortar joint stay damp to help mortar adhesion.

    Mix mortar with correct colour of sand and ratio to cement (6 to 1?). Allow it to start going off somewhat so that it is not quite dry, still just workable, work into joints with little or no excess. Give time for it to further go off till it is nearly crumbly and then trowel (or otherwise) to press in tight and finish. Only apply pressure into the joints.
    Keep off face of brickwork at all times. Any spills (of the dryish mortar) leave for the present.
    Leave till next day then brush off any excess with a soft brush. Hopefully with a dry brickwork face and damp joint and mortar that has gone off quite a lot the joints will be strong (but less so than the bricks) but will not have adhered to the faces.

    It should go without saying do not work in the rain or allow water to further wet the brickwork till after cleaning off!
    Last edited by Heedtheadvice; 04-09-2017 at 3:01 PM.
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 4th Sep 17, 3:07 PM
    • 901 Posts
    • 284 Thanks
    JohnB47
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 17, 3:07 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 17, 3:07 PM
    Make sure you have a decent depth to repoint -not small gaps so you can get plenty of mortar in.

    Ensure the brickwork his damp, spraying if necessary especially in the joints. This will help the surface dry a bit quicker but the mortar joint stay damp to help mortar adhesion.

    Mix mortar with correct colour of sand and ratio to cement (6 to 1?). Allow it to start going off somewhat so that it is not quite dry, still just workable, work into joints with little or no excess. Give time for it to further go off till it is nearly crumbly and then trowel (or otherwise) to press in tight and finish. Only apply pressure into the joints.
    Keep off face of brickwork at all times. Any spills (of the dryish mortar) leave for the present.
    Leave till next day then brush off any excess with a soft brush. Hopefully with a dry brickwork face and damp joint and mortar that has gone off quite a lot the joints will be strong (but less so than the bricks) but will not have adhered to the faces.

    It should go without saying do not work in the rain or allow water to further wet the brickwork till after cleaning off!
    Originally posted by Heedtheadvice

    Cheers. Sound like good advice.
    • snowcat75
    • By snowcat75 4th Sep 17, 8:53 PM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 1,776 Thanks
    snowcat75
    • #6
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:53 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:53 PM
    What sort of finish are you looking for?

    Weather struck will look neater but is far more time consuming as all the joints will need to be cut with a Frenchman , Another problem can arise from differently gauged bricks and someone who really knows the job will blend the joints even if uneven to make them all the bricks look perfectly gauged.

    Pointing can make or ruin a job, and as a fairly proficient self builder its one job iv tended to get a very seasoned professional in to do. Re raking and repointing from a botched job is not only sole destroying but massively expensive.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 4th Sep 17, 9:02 PM
    • 1,313 Posts
    • 1,241 Thanks
    Grenage
    • #7
    • 4th Sep 17, 9:02 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Sep 17, 9:02 PM
    Practice; honestly it's really getting a feel for it. Go build a brick barbeque or the like before your touch your house.
    • pmartin86
    • By pmartin86 4th Sep 17, 11:13 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 240 Thanks
    pmartin86
    • #8
    • 4th Sep 17, 11:13 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Sep 17, 11:13 PM
    Do what I did, try it, make a hash of it, then jsut have the whole thing rendered
    • armchaireconomist
    • By armchaireconomist 5th Sep 17, 9:44 AM
    • 182 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    armchaireconomist
    • #9
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:44 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:44 AM
    Buy a set with a few sizes of tools and just take your time - ensure mortar is packed and neat and don't worry about the brick faces at first. Once the pointing is tidy scrape all the faces of the bricks and go over with a brush once its gone off and you should have a tidy job.
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 5th Sep 17, 7:40 PM
    • 901 Posts
    • 284 Thanks
    JohnB47
    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Next to find a source of grey sand (that isn't premixed mortar) - all the stuff used around here in East Devon is the orange stuff - which my house and garden walls wasn't built with.

    Builders have had to resort to mixing lime with the mortar to make it more of a match. Not perfect.

    I don't like the pre mixed mortar that you get in bags. It seems too fine a grade of sand to me. It's like kiddies play sand, whereas on my houses mortar you can see a definite grittiness. The house was built in 1929.

    Anyway, thanks for the help.
    Last edited by JohnB47; 05-09-2017 at 7:43 PM.
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 5th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    • 954 Posts
    • 769 Thanks
    Apodemus
    As a 1929 house it might be worth checking whether you are better going for a lime mortar rather than cement for the pointing. If it is lime, then you have a much more forgiving material to work with.
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 11th Sep 17, 1:38 PM
    • 901 Posts
    • 284 Thanks
    JohnB47
    Thanks and sorry for the late reply. Had a problem with my printer and started another thread which took my mind off this one.


    If my house was built using lime mortar, is there any way I could confirm that? Any simple test I could do?
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 11th Sep 17, 7:35 PM
    • 954 Posts
    • 769 Thanks
    Apodemus
    If my house was built using lime mortar, is there any way I could confirm that? Any simple test I could do?
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    You could try the vinegar test, but it is not absolutely indicative. Watch this video for some suggestions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh0Ad3FKDrE

    He doesn't point it out, but one shot shows the presence of charcoal fragments in his lime mortar sample and this is also an indication in older buildings where the lime was slaked on-site.
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