Brick pointing or repointing, as it is called, is an essential part of the maintenance of a house and quite an expensive process because of the detailed work that it involves. It is a work that takes a lot of patience. The process involves using fine tools and the correct combination of mortar for filling in the horizontal and vertical gaps in the walls. The process can be used on old as well as new walls to make them still stronger. Many people opt for simply applying a layer of mortar over the old one in an attempt to save money, but that does not ensure longevity.
Types of mortars
The process involved as such is simple, and you can try to do it yourself. But without the right tools the end product will not be even close to what you desire. Then again, the choice of the materials in the mortar is very important. The ideal thing to use is a lime mortar, but many people opt for various kinds of cement so that they have to work less, and the mix dries easily too. A serious builder will, however, want to use the original mix and make a good job of it. The house owner also needs to be aware of the effects of different mixes on the wall.
Know the technique
Some get the mortar analyzed to know the proportion of the materials while others check the sound a piece of the dry mix makes on the road. A high-pitched sound will be made if there is a lot of cement in it. But if there is lime mortar in it then the sound will be like a muffled thud. Removing the dry mortar is not easy and has to be done painstakingly so that you don't end up chipping the wall or the edges. You can use an electric grinder to clear the joints fast while Brick pointing queens NY but it would take a lot of control and skill.
Refilling the grids
Grinders can easily damage the walls with the kind of force they have. Therefore many builders prefer hand-chiseling that takes a lot of time, but the walls are not damaged in any way. Refilling the joints has to be done carefully adding layer after layer till the mortar is thumbprint-firm. The protrusions are cut off, and a brushing is given which makes it look clean. The walls of Brick pointing queens NYhave to be cleaned before the work done because mortar will not stick to dust. It has to be made wet with water as well both before and after the work so that it dries but not too quickly.
Stick to the rules
There are a few very important rules that need to be followed while you are repointing. If the mortar has lost around of the original depth it has to be chiseled out and reworked. The joints have to be cleaned out to twice the depth for better work. Cutting or removing the original skin will increase the decay of the walls. The strength of the bricks has to be measured so that you know which mortar to use. The work should be done when the temperature is between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit because mortar becomes brittle in the cold while heat dries it out thoroughly.
Select the right builder
If you are doing the work using lime mortar, then it is best to keep it damp for three days before work. If you want to slow down the rate of evaporation, use plastic sheets on the front. When the sheets have been removed, the wall has to be made wet from time to time so that the walls harden faster. Considering the tedious process of repointing the walls, it is best to leave it to experts who are well aware of the rules and the method. You will need to ask for references from experienced people who have got it done for their houses.
Check the rates
Experts can also be looked up on the Internet. Most have dedicated websites of their own, and you can always check out the testimonials before hiring anyone for the work. You can check out the number of years they have been in the profession and what are the methods applied. Don't forget to check the charge for the work. Comparing rates with others is a good idea to make sure you are not paying more.