If you are preparing for any do-it-yourself masonry project, such as small brick repairs, then you already know the importance of quality mortar. But proper mixing is one of the fundamental steps that, if not done carefully, can waste you a lot of time and money.
Which Mortar to Use
There are many different types of mortar, and each is designed for specific areas of your home. As part of your initial planning process, you should learn which mortar type you will need and understand the ratios of cement, lime, earth and other materials that type contains. For example, exterior masonry projects need types M, N, or S which are higher in cement. By contrast, mortar type O is best for interior masonry, such as non-load-bearing walls. Each mortar type has its own recipe for creating a different level of adhesion, compression strength, and resistance to moisture.
In addition to figuring out your mortar recipe, you will want to get the right materials together. The tools you will need include a dry bucket to measure out your cement and lime etc. You will also need a mixing tub or wheelbarrow, and a hoe and spade for stirring and scooping. Other mixing options include getting a mechanical mixer or even mixing by hand for small amounts. Also, you will need a source of water, such as from a hose or spout. Most importantly, have the proper safety gear, inducing working gloves and goggles.
Before you start mixing, wet down your containers that you plan on adding your mortar materials to. With your dry bucket, pour in your combination of cement, sand, and lime according to the type of mortar you need. Now pour water over the mixture. Mix in a folding motion by scooping from the bottom and letting the water seep through. Add more water and continue mixing. Repeat the process of mixing and adding water until your mortar reaches a thick but smooth consistency. You will know the consistency is right when you scoop it with your spade and the mortar spills off easily but keeps its shape.
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.