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Posts Tagged ‘ mortar ’

The Four Types of Mortar

Friday, December 7th, 2018
How to Hire the Best Masonry Contractor

Mortar is a very important material in masonry construction because it’s what holds everything together!

When it comes to masonry, mortar may be the most essential part of the construction. Mortar is what is used to bond the materials of your masonry together, providing the structural integrity of the project. Depending on the type of project you are working on, different types of mortar can be used. Each class is best matched with a different kind of construction due to the differences in performance. Depending on your application you may want to use one over another, which is why knowing the differences is so important. There are four primary mortar types M, O, N, and S; today we’ll take you through what each is and where it is best used.

M

With the highest starting psi, type M mortar also uses the largest levels of Portland cement. Type M is most often used for driveways, foundations, retaining walls, and natural stone. Despite its extreme strength, it has poor sealing and adhesion properties which make it ill-suited for most applications where it would be exposed.

O

With only around 350 psi, type O mortar has the lowest compression strength of modern mortar, but it still is incredibly useful. Its primary function is for use in above-grade, non-load-bearing walls, and interiors. It’s particularly valuable for repair and repointing work on other structures thanks to its easy application and consistency.   

N

If you’re working on above-grade walls and exteriors that will be exposed to high temperatures and severe weather, this type of mortar is highly recommended. It is considered to be an all-purpose mix that offers medium compression strength and great general application. It is regarded as the most commonly used mortar for home-owners and has a 750 pound per square-inch strength after 28 days. Type N is made from a mix of lime, Portland cement, and sand. It’s the preferred type for soft stone masonry and is useful for interior load bearing, exterior, and above grade installations.  

S

With a high strength level, weighing in at 1,800 psi and a high-tensile bond, S mortar is a perfect fit for a variety of projects including those at or below grade. It is often used for retaining walls, sewers, manholes, and masonry foundations in below grade projects. It is also an excellent choice for masonry structures like walkways and brick patios. Although it already is able to withstand seismic loads, wind and soil pressure, it can be mixed to achieve an even higher psi level.

 

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Next Construction Project!

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

 

A Guide to Repairing Damaged Mortar Joints

Friday, October 19th, 2018

The mortar joints are what hold brick masonry together, so you want to fix them if you come across any damage!

Do you have old masonry walls or chimneys in need of repair? The crumbling mortar joints of an otherwise beautiful brick wall can make it a real eyesore. But with the right tools and a heaping serving of patience, anyone can learn tuckpointing (or pointing or repointing). If your walls are beyond simple repair and need restoration, follow this guide, and breathe new life into your old masonry.

 

Tools And Materials

Before you dive into this project, make sure you have everything that you’ll need to do it right. You’re going to need the mortar mix to replace the old crumbling mortar (be sure to get the right type), and a whisk broom, wall trowel, tuckpointing trowel, and mortar finishing tool. You’ll also need an angle grinder, flat chisel, and hammer for digging out the old stuff. Finally, make sure you have safety equipment: a dust mask, rubber gloves, and safety glasses.

 

The Repair Process

The mortar joints are the most flexible (and weakest) parts of brick work, so they are the most prone to deterioration. Any water and ice that seeps into them and the temperature expansion they experience over the years eventually causes the mortar joints to break down. The first step in repairing the joints is to chip out old mortar with a chisel and hammer, or for really hard spots, the angle grinder (be careful, this heavy duty tool can easily chip the brick). Remove 3/4 to 1 inch of old mortar or enough to get a solid brick base to bond the new mortar.

 

Next, clean out the new cavities with the whisk broom (compressed air would also work), then mist them with water. Mix your mortar carefully according to the instructions; it should have a stiff but not crumbly consistency. Fill the horizontal joints first and the vertical joints last. Load the prepared mortar onto the brick trowel and push it into the joint cavity ¼ inch thick slivers at a time using the tuckpointing trowel. The work is slow, so mix small batches of mortar so it doesn’t dry out. Finish the joint with the appropriate tool that matches the current joint profile. Finally, clean the bricks with a soft bristle brush to remove any mortar chunks on the brick face.

 

Contact Del Prete Masonry for Your Demolition Needs

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, Google+, and Pinterest.

 

Choosing the Best Mortar Type for Your Masonry Project

Friday, June 29th, 2018

There are several different types of mortar that you can choose from, so make sure you are picking the best one for your specific masonry project!

With so many types of mortar mixes on the market, it can be difficult to choose which type of mortar will be best for your upcoming masonry project. Whether you are more of a DIY person or you are going to hire a professional, it is still important to understand which mortar types are best for certain kinds of projects. Mortar mixes are classified based on compressive strength, bonding properties, and flexibility. Each kind has a different ratio of cement, lime, and sand. Here are some of the different types of mortar and when you should use them. 

Mortar Type N

You should use mortar type N for exterior and above-grade walls that are frequently exposed to severe weather conditions and high heat. This type of mortar has a mid-level compressive strength. It is composed of one part cement, one part lime, and six parts land. This is the perfect type of mortar for soft stone masonry, and it is the mortar that is used the most for general application.

Mortar Type O

Mortar type O has a low compressive strength and is best when used on interior and non-load-bearing walls. It should rarely be used in outdoor areas. It is super consistent and can be easily applied. Best used in interior environments!

Mortar Type S

Mortar type S has a high compressive strength and is ideal to be used for masonry at or below grade. It can fight soil pressure, wind, and even seismic conditions. Mortar type S is great for projects like foundations, manholes, retaining walls, sewers, brick patios, and brick pavements.

Mortar Type M

Mortar type M has the highest percentage of cement in it out of all the mortar types. It is best for heavy loads, foundations, retaining walls, and driveways. Although it is extremely strong, its adhesive properties are poor so it should not be used for sealing. Type M mortar is great when used with stone.

Mortar Type K

Mortar type K is rarely used. It is only necessary when refinishing historic or ancient buildings that require a special mortar mix. It has a very low compressive strength and is very difficult to manage. Mortar type K should never be used for DIY projects.

Contact Del Prete Masonry for Your Next Masonry Project!

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, Google+, and Pinterest.

 

3 Important Properties Of Mortar

Friday, March 30th, 2018

You want the mortar used for your masonry project to be workable and strong.

Mortar is what is used to hold together brick, stone, and concrete masonry, making it a very important material. You want to make sure that the best quality of mortar is being used because you want your building to last as long as possible without needing any repairs. There are a few important properties of mortar that you should consider when deciding which type to use for your masonry project. Here are three important properties of mortar.

Workability

This is probably the most important property of mortar because you have to be able to manipulate it the way you want for it to work. When looking for work-ability, you want to look for one that spreads easily with the trowel and supports the weight of the masonry units. You want it to stick easily to the surfaces of the masonry and it should protrude from the joint when pressure is applied. If the mortar is workable, it will make for a much easier masonry project.

Bond

This property comes into play after the mortar has hardened. If it doesn’t bond well, your masonry units could being to separate from one another. The two components that measure bond are the extent-of-bond and bond strength. The extent-of-bond is the measure of the contact area of the mortar and masonry unit. The bond strength measures the stress required to break the bond.

Stiffening Rate

The rate at which the mortar stiffens and dries is also important. Stiffening is caused by loss of moisture. The rate of stiffening should be high initially so that the construction process moves at a reasonable pace. If the stiffening rate is too low, the mortar will squeeze out as time goes on, resulting in varied thickness and distortion of the masonry. If it’s too quick, however, the masonry could crack. Things like climate and the material that you are using impact how fast or slow the stiffening rate should be.

Your Preferred Masonry Contractor Is Del Prete Masonry

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.