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Do I Need Mortar Analysis?

mortar analysis

Mortar analysis is necessary to find a matching mortar for repointing historic structures.

Repointing involves the application of mortar between masonry units. When mortar between masonry joints cracks or spalls, a repointing procedure may be necessary. However, when preparing to repoint a historic masonry structure you may first need to have the mortar analyzed by a professional. A mortar analysis helps find a matching mortar and correct properties needed to prevent the surrounding mortar from being further damaged. If an inappropriate mortar is used, it can actually accelerate the rate at which the masonry deteriorates instead of preserving it. A small investment in mortar analysis can save you a ton of money on the overall life of a project.

What Can You Learn From a Mortar Analysis?

Mortar is typically composed of just cement, sand, lime and water. However, the right ratios make a huge different in how it will perform. A mortar analysis will help determine the mortar’s original composition, the ratio of the binder (cement) to the aggregate (sand). It will also reveal physical properties about the mortar, its compressive strength (hardness), and porosity/water vapor permeability.

Why is Mortar Matching Important

If mortar is not matched, you run the risk of the new repair mortar deteriorating the wall rather than protecting it. The mortar may also end up being aesthetically unpleasing because the color, texture, or tooling doesn’t properly match the contiguous mortar. It’s also important to formulate the mortar recipe so that it will perform well in the environmental conditions that it’s regularly exposed to. An experienced masonry professional can help determine these elements before undertaking a repointing project.

Historic Masonry Repairs

Masonry repairs for historic buildings are the primary candidate for mortar analysis. The reason for this is that repairs need to be carried out using materials and techniques that closely match what was originally used as much as possible. Not only does this provide continuity with the past, but it keeps intervention to a minimum and allows the building to age in a similar way as the original. A better understanding of historic mortars is required to maintain these structures.

Masonry Repair and Restoration from Del Prete Masonry

For all of your questions regarding masonry repair and restoration, feel free to contact Del Prete Masonry. Our masonry restoration professionals have the experience and history of satisfied clients to prove that we’ll get the job done right, and cost-effectively. To get started with your masonry restoration project, please contact our office today at 410-683-0650 or email us at mike@delpretemasonry.com. We serve Baltimore City, County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County.

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