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What to Consider When Repointing Mortar

del prete masonry repointing mortar

Although the process sounds simple, there are considerations when repointing mortar.

Repointing is the process of repairing broken-down mortar and replacing it with new mortar. Although the process sounds simple, there are considerations when repointing mortar. Also, mortar joints maintain the building’s strength and are meant to break down. However, as long as they are repointed on time, the building will retain its original integrity and stability. Fortunately, repointing mortar is less invasive than replacing the entire stone, brick, or concrete sections. So, knowing the basics of repointing mortar is advisable for all business owners as it provides you leverage when talking to mason professionals.

Avoid Partially Filled Joints and Too Much Water in Mortar Mixtures

Furthermore, problems will arise if mortar joints are not filled to the adequate level. Remember, joints must not be partially filled, and you should avoid deep raking. Otherwise, faulty mortar joints will result. In addition, some inexperienced masons might add too much water to mortar mixtures to increase workability and make the mortar application easier. While this might simplify a mason’s job, it doesn’t enhance your structure’s longevity.

Pre-Wetting is a Necessity & Hydrochloric Acid is a No-No

Moreover, a dose of pre-wetting is necessary to prevent weak mortar joints when installing high-absorption masonry units. Pre-wetting is also essential but should be balanced because problems like porous mortar joints and other visible issues on the interior wall will arise. Additionally, avoid using hydrochloric acids as a cleaning agent because you put the mortar joints at risk for efflorescence, leading to the weakening of mortar joints.

Install New Flashing & Don’t Widen the Original Joint

Flashing is a specific metal used to help prevent moisture from entering the masonry units and helps with drainage. When a professional masonry properly installs metal flashing, it’s helpful for the masonry’s moisture defense. Additionally, installing new flashing when repointing a wall is often recommended.

Lastly, you should worry if a mason suggests widening the original joints of your building. Spreading mortar onto the masonry structure’s exterior allows the extension of the original joints. As a result, the wall’s appearance will look distorted. Even worse, it will be more difficult to perform repairs in the future.


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 follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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