Brickwork is everywhere. If you own your own property it is highly likely that you have a brick garden or house wall. They look great and are very strong. However, over time the weather and other elements will attack the brick. It causes the bricks to fade and the mortar between the bricks to dry out and crumble.
Ultimately this can lead to weakness in the brickwork and an array of issues. You can get a local brick repointing specialist to restore the wall for you. However, you may want to try yourself or, at the least, understand what’s involved.
Remove Old Mortar
You’re going to need to get rid of the old mortar in order to add some fresh. The best way to do this is to use a small bolster or a plugging chisel. You want to remove all the loose mortar and you need to remove at last 10mm of old mortar, creating a deep groove in all the joins.
Fresh mortar sticks best to mortar that is already firmly stuck. That means before you add your new mortar you’re going to need to brush the wall down. This will make sure all the small particles are removed and the wall is clean and free of debris.
Mix Some Mortar
In order to repoint the brickwork and make it look new, you’re going to need some mortar. Mortar is effectively a glue for bricks and it is used in all brick walls. A basic mortar mix is three parts sand and one part cement with a little water added.
You can mix this by hand and get a smooth but not too wet consistency. If you prefer, it is possible to buy tubs of pre-mixed mortar. These have the sand and cement already mixed, you simply add water to the designated line and mix thoroughly. It’s then ready to use.
The best idea is to repoint the entire wall and make it look new. However, if you are only doing a section you’re going to need to match the color of your mortar as closely as possible to the mortar in the wall.
The easiest way to do this is to find out what sand was used in the original mix and use the same sand. It does affect the color of the mortar. However, you can also get artificial colors that will change the color of your mortar mix.
You’ll need to mix small amounts until you find the right color to use.
Applying The Mortar
Now your mortar is ready you can spray the wall which you are about to repoint. Using a repointing trowel simply slide the mortar into the gap in the wall.
Work your way methodically along a section of the wall and slightly overfill the joints so that they bulge. You can then choose your type of finish. Flush means the mortar is in line with the bricks, you may also want to try weather struck or recessed, whichever works best for you and your brick wall.
Let it dry and admire your work.