Buildings are built from stone or brick for a reason. While vinyl siding is available in a range of custom colors, nothing beats the durability of masonry for both residential and commercial structures. However, even well-laid bricks will break down over time. When your building encounters this inevitable issue, repointing may be the answer. Not only can repointing repair your brick or stone damage, you can also improve the appearance of your structure’s exterior while protecting against future issues.
What Exactly Is Repointing?
The term “repointing” refers to the process of removing brickwork’s old mortar and replacing it with new, fresh mortar. Mortar serves a key structural role in a brick building and is not just there for aesthetic appeal. Bricks rely on mortar to keep them in place, distribute weight and wick away moisture. When mortar degrades, it prevents masonry from doing its job. Repointing removes cracked and disintegrated mortar and installs fresh, sturdy mortar in its place. This offers a number of benefits, explained below.
Repointing Improves the Overall Look of Your Structure
While mortar is not intended just for aesthetics, it can still be used to improve a building’s exterior visual appeal. When mortar degrades, it may chip, crack or fall out, resulting in brick surfaces that look decrepit and uneven. Repointing restores mortar for a crisp, clean brick outline. Buildings look newer and better cared for when they are repointed. Some people choose to repoint because it enhances their home or commercial building’s outer beauty, while others repoint for structural maintenance reasons alone.
Repointing Equips Masonry To Bear Weight Properly
Even small houses need weight distribution, and the objects bearing the brunt of that weight distribution are bricks. Mortar keeps bricks aligned so that the weight of a house is distributed in an even manner. Once mortar chips away or cracks, the building’s weight will become inconsistent in its distribution, putting more pressure on some areas than others. This may cause the bricks – as well as the mortar – to crack, bulge or fall out, exacerbating the problem. If left untreated, degraded masonry can collapse from the structure’s uneven weight, putting residents and visitors in harm’s way.
Repointing Keeps Moisture Out Of The Walls
Mortar can also prevent moisture from damaging bricks. Since each brick is but one section of a greater structure or wall, there are many openings where water and moisture can enter. Mortar seals these gaps to keep water where it belongs—on the outside. Once mortar has disintegrated, water can trickle in, damaging interior walls and encouraging mold growth. Some types of mold can cause health problems, and residents may not realize that their walls contain mold until it is too late to remediate. Repointing is one method that can increase a building’s waterproofing.
Repointing Prevents More Costly Repairs Later
Since mortar is the lifeblood of a brick structure, repointing regularly is the best way to keep that structure healthy and strong. When neglected, brick walls will start to flake, crumble and bulge. At this point, repairs become more expensive than the cost of preventative repointing. They often require complete demolition of the wall or replacement of large sections of brick in order to restore the damaged area. This process is expensive in both material costs and labor.
In some cases, the building may not be usable during repairs. For a business, this could mean added financial troubles due to lost business or production. For residential customers, staying in a hotel while their home is undergoing repairs will not be cheap or convenient. Repointing is a simple and affordable preventive measure that a professional can often complete in a single day. It is worth investing in the process now rather than suffering later through extensive repairs.
Rely On The Experts To Tackle Your Repointing Job
Even the strongest masonry work requires regular maintenance. Repointing is one of the most effective tools for brick and stone repair. It is affordable, effective and offers a wide variety of benefits.
However, repointing is not suitable as a DIY project. Since buildings rely on mortar to distribute their weight, incorrect repointing by an amateur could lead to bigger problems in the future. Trust the experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration to provide your building a quick and accurate repointing. Reach out to schedule a consultation or to book an appointment to get started with repointing.