Re-pointing masonry is the process of removing deteriorated or cracked mortar and replacing it with new. The procedure itself is relatively simple. However, the level of attention that must be given to matching mortar composition is pivotal to producing professional and aesthetically pleasing results.
This attention to mortar composition is even more essential, when re-pointing in Wellesley is performed on historical homes.
Matching mortar composition is important for two reasons. The first is appearance. Re-pointing masonry with a mortar that is different from the type of mortar used in the original construction will result in a mismatched color finish. And the re-pointed portion(s) of your property will look distinctly out of place.
The second reason composition is so important is structural integrity. Mortars used for re-pointing in Wellesley should cure softer than the bricks or stones to which they are being applied, and they should be equally as soft and permeable as the original mortars that they are replacing. Mortar that is denser than the bricks or stones of the structure will not “give” to normal expanding, contracting or settling, which will ultimately result in cracking and crumbling. And mortar that is less permeable (or less capable of drawing and routing water away from the bricks and stones) will ultimately cause water to be absorbed by the masonry units, which can freeze, expand and then cause your bricks and stones to crack, loosen and break away.
- Masonry homes built in the United States prior to the mid-1800’s were constructed using lime putty or slaked lime mixed with local sand, crushed seashells, brick dust and clay.
- Homes and other masonry structures built between 1873 and 1930 were constructed using a range of mortar varieties, from pure lime; sand and lime, and; Portland cement and sand.
- Masonry structures built after the 1930’s were constructed using equal parts of lime and Portland cement.
- Our team has extensive experience analyzing and custom mixing mortars to maintain the beauty and integrity of your masonry home.
Signs of a Problem
Your home will likely need re-pointing in Wellesley if you have noticed that your mortar or masonry blocks have begun to crack, fall out or disintegrate. Cracks and missing mortar will allow water to penetrate into the heart of your masonry structure, which can result in the breaking away of interior plaster walls; the rotting of wooden framing, flooring and moldings, and; the deterioration of your bricks and stones through freezing and thawing.
Loosened masonry blocks can be dangerous and present a great liability. Bricks and stones that fall from higher portions of your home can cause serious personal injuries and property damages. While those loosened or fallen from lower portions of the home can affect the stability of the entire structure. If you have noticed any signs of cracking, crumbling, loosening or falling, please contact one of our masonry experts immediately.
Addressing the Damage
Our well-seasoned team will perform your re-pointing in Wellesley according to exacting industry standards. Bernard Callaghan, the founder of our company, uses a combination of proven, old-fashioned, masonry principles and contemporary technology to restore homes in Back Bay, South End and Beacon Hill. And his methods have earned him an impeccable reputation with home and business owners throughout the city.
- First, your property will be inspected to determine its condition and assess the amount of re-pointing that will need to be done.
- Next, samples of the original mortar will be analyzed to determine the elements and ratios of its composition.
- Old mortar will then be carefully removed from the masonry joints using chisels and grinders. (For brick, mortar is removed to an approximate depth of one-half to one full inch; for stone, mortar may need to be removed to a depth of several inches.)
- Finally, masonry joints are rinsed, mortar is mixed and then the joints are filled in quarter-inch layers to ensure that they are completely filled from their deepest recesses outward.
If the mortar of your brick or stone home has fallen into disrepair, call our team today and schedule your free, no-obligation estimate. We work on both historical and contemporary masonry homes, and guarantee that you will be amazed by what we can do.