Lime mortar repointing is the process of replacing old tired mortar with new. If your home or property is built with a lime mortar it must be repaired and repointed with a lime mortar.
Natural elements and the previous use of cement will play a part in when repointing needs to be considered. When a property's old mortar has done its intended purpose and needs replacing. The tell tale signs are the old mortar will have receded back and is easily removed from the joints with minimal effort.
Another reason for repointing is if a property has been incorrectly repointed in the past using a cement mortar instead of lime. Modern cements can cause many problems like dampness and brick damage. Using a cement based mortar for repointing lime jointed brickwork is unbelievably stupid. These are old walls that will naturally have a certain amount of moisture penetrating them and the lime joints are the only means of that water escaping. The joints are basically a sacrifial part of the wall and will allow any moisture in the wall to escape. If cement is used the water cannot get out through the joints and the whole wall will become damp both inside and outside. The bricks will then stay permenantly moist, and as the moisture in them freezes and thaws, the surface of the bricks will blow.
The repointing process consists of two main aspects, The first is the removal of the old mortar and preparation, secondly the repointing and finishing.
Preparation for Repointing
It's all in the preparation... Removal of the old mortar in preparation for repointing is a very important stage of the process but just like painting it can be one that can just be glossed over for a cheaper price. Buid Bright quote to do the job properly.
Old lime mortar removal
We rake out the old soft lime mortar with hand tools, If it doesn't come out easy it does not need repointing! If it is soft and in need of repair we rake out the joints to twice the width of the joint or to we have a solid foundation for the new mortar to bond to.
Cement mortar removal
Sadly cement mortar requires the careful and experienced use of power tools to remove it. This will add cost as it is time consuming and must be done with the upmost care as to not damage the surrounding bricks. We use quality tools for this process.
The lime mortar repointing process is one that takes more time and attention than cement repointing. The mortar must be of a good consistency and the wall for it to be applied must be prepared correctly. On applying the mortar this must be done with much care and attention to detail. If done incorrectly it could have irreversible consequences leaving bricks stained and unsightly. Our pointing process is of a very high standard using using time served trusted techniques and quality local sourced NHL limes and local colour matched aggregates.