How Often Should You Get Your House Repointed? A Guide to Maintaining Your Home’s Mortar Joints

Repointing brickwork is essential for maintaining the longevity and structural integrity of a house. Over time, the mortar between the bricks can deteriorate due to weather conditions, age, or poor installation. If left unattended, this can lead to water leaks, cracks, and even structural damage. Therefore, it is crucial to know when to repoint your house to avoid costly repairs.

The frequency of repointing depends on various factors such as the climate, the quality of the mortar, and the age of the house. The typical lifespan of mortar is around 40+ years. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and some houses may require repointing sooner or later than others, especially when it comes to small repairs. It is recommended to inspect your brickwork regularly for signs of damage or wear and tear, such as cracks, crumbling, or water leaks, and to consult with a professional if you are unsure whether repointing is necessary.

fully aligned property in bedford

What is Repointing?

Repointing is the process of repairing the mortar joints between bricks or stonework. Mortar is the material that is used to hold the bricks or stones together. Over time, the mortar can become damaged due to weathering, water infiltration, and other factors. Repointing involves removing the old mortar and replacing it with new mortar to restore the structural integrity of the wall. We wrote an in-depth article that covers this in more detail if you want to find out more.

The process of repointing involves grinding out the old mortar to a certain depth and then filling the joints with new mortar. The depth of the joint to be repointed depends on the size of the joint and the type of brick or stone used. The new mortar should match the colour and texture of the existing mortar to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the wall.

Repointing is a delicate process that requires precision and expertise. If the process is not done correctly, it can cause more damage to the wall than before. It is recommended to use a professional like us to perform the repointing work.

Repointing is necessary to prevent further damage to the wall and to maintain its structural integrity.

Cracks and gaps in the mortar can allow water to penetrate the wall, causing damage to the bricks or stones which can lead to other things such as dampness inside your home.

brick mortar

When Should You Repoint Your House?

Repointing your house is an important task that should not be overlooked. It is recommended that homeowners repoint their brick walls every 40+ years. However, the frequency of repointing may vary depending on several factors such as the age of the house, the type of mortar used, and the weather conditions in the area. You also need to factor in minor repairs which can occur more frequently.

One of the most important things to consider when deciding whether to repoint your house is the condition of the mortar. If the mortar is crumbling or cracking, it is a sign that it needs to be replaced. Another sign that your house needs repointing is if you notice gaps between the bricks. These gaps can allow water to seep into the walls, which can cause serious damage over time.

Bear in mind that repointing should be done by a professional company that specialises in this line of work. They should be able to remove the old mortar and replace it with fresh mortar that is compatible with the existing brickwork. The new mortar should be a mixture of lime, sand, and Portland cement, with a ratio that is appropriate for the placement and age of the bricks.

In addition to brick walls, chimneys also require repointing from time to time. Chimneys are exposed to the elements and can deteriorate quickly if they are not maintained properly. It is recommended that homeowners have their chimneys inspected and repointed at least every thirty years.

chimney repair

DIY vs Professional Repointing

Repointing can be a challenging and time-consuming task, requiring specialised tools such as a hammer, chisel, trowel, and mortarboard. DIY repointing may be an option for small areas or simple repairs, but for larger or more complex jobs, it is recommended to opt for a professional. Professional repointing not only ensures quality workmanship but also saves time and reduces the risk of costly mistakes.

When considering repointing costs, try to factor in the cost of labour, materials, and equipment. The cost of repointing varies depending on the size of the job, the accessibility of the work area, and the type of mortar used.

In addition to the cost factors, you need to think about the aesthetic and structural value of repointing work. Repointing not only improves the appearance of the building but also enhances its durability and resistance to water damage. It is especially important to consider these factors when working on listed buildings or structures located in hard-to-reach areas.

new mortar

Conclusion

Repointing is a necessary maintenance task for brick and masonry structures. The frequency of repointing depends on several factors, including the type of mortar used, the composition of the building, and the level of exposure to water and moisture. DIY repointing may be an option for small areas, but for larger or more complex jobs, it is recommended to use a professional repointing company to ensure quality workmanship and save time and costs.

People also ask

How long does repointing a house take?

The duration of repointing a house depends on the size of the house and the extent of the work needed. On average, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It is best to consult with a company that specialises in this to get an accurate estimate of the time frame for your specific job.

Can I do repointing myself?

While it is possible to do repointing yourself, it is a labour-intensive and time-consuming process that requires experience and skill. It is recommended to use a professional to ensure that the job is done correctly and to avoid potential damage to your house.

What is the average cost of repointing per square foot?

The cost of repointing per square foot can vary depending on various factors such as the location, the extent of the work needed, and the type of mortar used. On average, the cost can range from £4 to £16 per square foot. It is best to get multiple quotes from professional companies to compare prices and ensure that you are getting a fair price.

What is the best time of year to repoint brickwork?

The best time of year to repoint brickwork is during the warmer months when the weather is dry and mild. This is because the mortar needs time to dry and harden properly. Repointing during the colder months or when it is raining can cause the mortar to freeze or become too wet, which can affect the quality of the work.

How do I know if my house needs repointing?

Signs that your house may need repointing include cracks in the mortar, loose bricks, and water damage on the interior walls. If you are unsure, speak to a professional who should be able to give you a free no-obligation quote.