Repointing brick – everything you need to know

Throughout our time working in Bedfordshire and the surrounding areas, our team has seen its fair share of repointing brick projects. From mending fractured mortar joints to repointing substantial sections of buildings, we can do it all.

Repointing brick is a process of removing old, damaged mortar and replacing it with new, strong mortar that will last for years to come. When the joints of brick or stone walls start to weaken, it is essential to act and have them repaired immediately to prevent further damage.

Repointing involves the removal of old mortar from between bricks and stones and then replacing it with new mortar. This ensures that the wall remains structurally sound, as well as enhances its appearance. Let’s explore this in more detail:

What does it mean when you repoint brickwork?

Repointing brickwork is the process of removing and replacing old mortar between the bricks of a structure. This includes scraping away any cracked, damaged, or deteriorated mortar, cleaning off the dust and debris created by scraping, mixing up new mortar to match the original colour and texture, and repointing each joint of brickwork with the new mixture.

 Repointing is important because it helps preserve the structure’s overall structural integrity as well as giving it an aesthetic appeal. When done properly, it can also significantly extend the lifespan of brick surfaces.

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Why Repointing is Important in more detail

Let’s have a look at some of the most important reasons why repointing is extremely important when it comes to maintaining brickwork:

Prevention of Further Damage

When you repoint a brick wall, you are essentially preventing any further damage to the structure. Old and cracked mortar joints can allow water to enter and accumulate within the wall which can lead to much more serious problems such as cracking or crumbling of bricks or stones.

Improved Structural Integrity

Repointing provides increased structural integrity since it reinforces the connection between the individual bricks. This helps the wall to be able to withstand natural forces such as wind and rain with greater stability, which will in turn extend its lifespan.

Aesthetic Appeal

Repointing brickwork can also improve the overall aesthetics of your structure. This is especially true if you opt for a colour that matches or complements the bricks and stones used in your construction.

Prevention of Mould Growth

Repointing also helps prevent mould growth by ensuring that water does not leak into the wall. This is especially important if you live in an area with high humidity levels since these can cause mould to grow faster and last longer.

Increased Insulation Capacity

Repointing brickwork can also increase the insulation capacity of a structure. This is because the new mortar joint is much tighter than the old ones, allowing them to provide more efficient thermal and acoustic insulation.

How Much Does Repointing Brickwork Cost?

Repointing brickwork in the UK is usually a cost-effective measure, but costs can vary significantly. The location of the property, the materials and techniques used, and any additional work that may need to be done can all factor into how much repointing will cost.

On average, homeowners in the UK should expect costs to range from around £50-£100 per square metre for rake out & re-pointing projects. For larger or more complex projects, such as full-scale re-pointing an entire house or replacing damaged bricks, prices can increase drastically.

Larger projects additional cost factors will come into play such the height and complexity of the scaffold required the type of mortar used and even the type of joint. It’s important to keep in mind that these are just ballpark estimates; it is always best to contact a professional for a specific quote on your project.

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What Mortar Should I Choose When Repointing Brickwork? 

The most common types of mortar mix used when repointing brick walls or any other structures are cement mortar and lime mortar. Cement-based mortars are more commonly used due to their durability and strength; this type of mortar also has excellent resistance to weathering and offers good adhesion qualities.

Lime-based mortars provide greater breathability but may be more costly to repair; this type of mortar is better suited for historic buildings or walls that consist of softer materials like sandstone.

Ultimately, it’s best to consult an experienced tradesperson or company before making any decisions – they’ll be able to provide advice on which type of mortar to use based on your property’s specific needs. 

How to Maintain a Repointed Property

To ensure that your house remains in the best condition, there are several steps you can take to maintain a properly repointed property: 

1. Regular Inspections: It’s important to keep an eye on the condition of your brick or stone masonry; regular inspections are recommended to ensure that any damaged mortar is identified and replaced promptly.

2. Cleaning: To minimize damage, dirt and grime should be removed from brickwork as soon as possible using a soft-bristled wire brush and mild washing-up liquid. This will help prevent the staining of mortar along with other pollutants like black carbon stains so that you can prolong the life of your repointing job.

3. Painting: If desired, paint or sealant can be applied over newly repointed masonry for additional protection from weathering and moisture damage. It’s important to use high-quality paint or sealant for the best results.

4. Maintenance: Along with regular inspections, it’s also important to check for cracking or crumbling mortar between bricks, as well as any signs of water leaking into the brickwork such as discolouration or damp patches. Any issues should be addressed immediately by an experienced tradesperson if necessary.

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Conclusion

Repointing brickwork is an important part of keeping your house in the best condition. From preventing water leakage to extending the life of the masonry, properly repointed brickwork results in improved aesthetics and durability while protecting against weathering and moisture damage. Regular inspections, cleaning, painting, and maintenance can help ensure that your home remains warm and dry for years to come.

 If you feel like you need some expert advice, make sure you reach out to a professional like Bedford Window Cleaning. We will be able to provide advice on the beast course of action to take.