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Top Ten Mistakes Made in Masonry Repair
If cracks have appeared in the brick walls, they must be leveled again. This process is called tuck pointing. Before you attempt to fix it yourself or hire a contractor or handyman to repair it, you should know the ten most common mistakes made when refinishing mortar.
The first mistake is to make repairs before checking for additional problems. Repairing cracks in the mortar and brick before the foundation is inspected or other problems that become apparent can cause more damage to your home and the masonry lining.
Settlement cracks occur due to the settlement of the foundation and stress on the bricks. This makes them a common symptom of foundation repair and helps you understand where and how much foundation movement has occurred.
Placing mortar and replacing broken bricks along these settling cracks limits the precise repair of a house’s foundation. Performing these repairs often results in damage to the brick walls while the foundation is being repaired. Mortar or bricks placed in these cracks to fill the gap become a wedge and force a reverse crack to form in the area, and the brick tends to dislodge the house at the corners, causing the brick walls to crack, tilt away from the house, or completely come off the foundation when the house is lifted.
Before repairing mortar cracks, not enough effort can be made to check for other problems with the home’s structure or foundation.
Another common mistake when repairing settling cracks in brick is choosing a foundation repair company to level the foundation. There is a difference between leveling the foundation of a house and fixing foundation problems.
As far as I know, there has never been a house foundation built that is perfectly level, and leveling the foundation under your house would put stress on your home and cause more problems with your foundation. This, in turn, would create more cracks in the bricks and mortar joints around your home. If they emphasize word level and use a computerized level for reading, that’s a strong sign that they’re going to try to level your foundation, even if it causes more problems. If they focus on lifting, stabilizing, adjusting, and using the cracks in the mortar and brick to get their range of motion in the house slab, they will likely get more accurate data on the motion and have a better chance of providing a quality foundation. repair services.
A third common mistake in brick repair is using these pipes to repair mortar in an attempt to repair the cracks yourself. While caulking is used around doors and windows and in expansion control joints to seal the wall and allow movement, it is not intended to be used as a mortar and can cause other damage to the brick.
The sealant never looks like mortar and is difficult to remove from the surface of the bricks due to their texture. The same is true for many other masonry repair products. They contain glues, epoxy and other additives that can be difficult to work with and difficult to remove. This often requires removing all the brick from the areas where these products are used to repair the brick. If you want to repair the cracks in the mortar yourself, you should use a good replacement mortar with the same composition as the original. These are not bulk products but are manufactured to match your mortar formulation and require a mortar suitability analysis of your existing mortar samples.
The fourth masonry repair mistake is how you match the mortar. Not to be confused with matching mortar paint. Mortar matching is the process of analyzing mortar samples to determine their composition, performance and formula. Since the color of the sand and other materials in the composition affect the color, they are related, but before trying to match the color of the existing mortar, the basic formula of the mortar composition must be matched.
The composition and formula of the mortar is a guide to making the correct repair mortar and maintaining the formula. This is important because if the mortar is mismatched and has a different composition than the original mortar, it can develop complications that make color matching more difficult, damage the bricks, prevent the new mortar from adhering to the old mortar, and can allow the wall to fall as the mortar crumbles.
The fifth most common mistake when repairing masonry is matching the color of the mortar. More often than not, analysis of the mortar composition of the original mortar is skipped and general assumptions are made instead. This causes difficulty in matching the color of the mortar, as the color is a direct result of the composition and ratio of materials in the mortar mix. To match the color of the mortar, you must first match the formula and composition of the existing mortar.
After you have the basic formula and composition, you can adjust the color of the mortar by adjusting the colors of the base materials and adding pigments if necessary. However, a common mistake is adding pigments or other materials too quickly or changing the base of the formula. To maintain the performance and type of mortar you are making, you need to follow the basic formula and remember to add all portions slowly as you can keep adding but you can’t take anything back.
The sixth common error in masonry repair is the depth of the repair. A patch or bandage will cover the top of the problem, but you’ll need to remove some of the existing mortar to repair the cracks. It must be removed to a depth that allows the new mortar to bond well with the old mortar and bricks. This helps to ensure a durable repair of the masonry. Generally, a good depth in mortar joints is about 1/2-3/4 inch deep. More is better, especially if the gap allows you to replace the entire mortar joint.
The seventh item where errors occur is the preparation of cracks for resetting. Dust and debris left in the cracks prevent the new mortar from bonding with the old cement and prevent the mortar joints from filling completely. It is important to brush away loose debris or dust and to rinse and moisten the old mortar. This will help the new mortar bond with the existing mortar.
The eighth common mistake is mixing the mortar. Too often water is added quickly and exceeds the required amount and attempts are made to regulate it. The most common attempt to solve this problem is to add sand or mix to the mortar. If you do this, the composition formula will change and the resulting mortar will not meet your requirements.
If you add too much water, you will need to add more total compound materials based on the formula to adjust without changing the ratio and type of mortar. It’s best to add water or pigments slowly as you can’t remove them, and if such mistakes occur, it’s best to throw away the mortar and start over.
The ninth most common aiming mistake is completely filing the mortar joint. Mortar joints may appear full when filed, but they must be tightly packed to the mortar joints. Dust and debris can prevent this and should be cleaned out before applying new mortar.
If mortar joints are not completely filled, they tend to crumble under pressure. This is often noticed when tooling mortar joints when the mortar has begun to harden in the wall before the joint or tools are installed. If you notice this, remove the mortar where it is present and replace it again. Also, remember that stiffening doesn’t mean letting it harden before tooling the joints. Applying pressure to dry mortar that has not set will cause the mortar to crack or crumble and must be replaced again.
And the 10th most common mistake in brick mortar repair is installing and brushing mortar joint tools. As I mentioned before, tooling should be done when the mortar starts to harden, but before it becomes too hard for the tools. However, when making mortar tools, it is important to match the existing type of tools. There are all different designs for mortar joint shaping tools. The most common construction is a rounded or tilted mortar joint. You want to use a joint tool that produces a mortar joint of the correct construction and size. These tools are available in a wider angle for thicker mortar joints.
It is important that the repair blends in with the wall. Using an inappropriate joint will cause mortar shadowing at the intersections of new and old mortar. This also happens with mortar tags or excess mortar squeezed out of mortar tools. You will need to brush off the excess and blend the edges of each mortar joint to ensure the repairs fit properly.
As you can see, repairing masonry is a very detailed process where a small difference in any detail makes a big difference in the repair result.
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