Perhaps the most important ingredient in masonry is mortar. It is a perfect mix of water, minerals, rock, clay, and other ingredients that can hold together anything from brick to natural stone for years. But in order to understand mortar, you should know what makes up a quality mix. Here are the three key components for making the perfect batch of mortar.
When it comes to mortar, having the right thickness is everything. But how can you gauge when it’s just right. Masonry contractors know when the mix of mortar is correct by how workable it is. That means that the mortar should be easy to handle. Too thick and it will be impossible to scoop, too thin and it will fall right off of the trowel. A professional bricklayer knows how to reach the goldilocks level of perfection in their mortar mix.
An equally valuable characteristic of mortar is how well it holds. When the mixture is right, the wet mortar should hold the weight of the bricks without oozing out too much. But what happens as it dries will tell whether it has a solid bond. Masonry professionals measure the bond strength by how much stress it would take to break that bond. Without a strong bond, your masonry project will age and crumble much faster and even be in danger of collapsing.
The link between the quality of mortar when it is liquid and solid is how long it takes to set. What gives mortar it’s concrete-like properties is how it can harden as it dries. It might not seem like it would make that much difference how quickly mortar dries, but it is a vital aspect of the structural integrity of a masonry structure. For example, if the mortar dries too slowly, then the weight of the bricks can put enough stress on it to start pushing the mortar out before it can set. This could be especially detrimental for masonry repairs. There are many factors, like climate and temperature, that can alter mortar’s drying rate, which is why it’s good to have the help of an expert to make sure it’s done right.
Contact Del Prete Masonry Today!
Whether you are ready to start your next masonry project or are still hesitant and have questions, Del Prete Masonry is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time. Questions? Want to visit some of our residential or commercial projects? Ready to set up a consultation? Feel free to give us a call at 410-683-0650 or visit us online. We are happy to serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and to keep up with our new and exciting projects, be sure to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.