How To Repoint a Brick Wall

To repoint a brick wall, you must remove old mortar, mix and apply new mortar, and allow it to cure. This process is crucial in maintaining the structural integrity and appearance of brickwork. The method of repointing brick ensures the wall remains durable and weather-resistant. This helps to reduce the likelihood of foundation repairs in the future. 

In this post, we’ll discuss each step when you must repoint brick walls.

What Are the Steps to Repoint a Brick Wall? 

The steps to repoint a brick wall are to remove old mortar, prepare the new mix, apply it, and then finish and clean.

Step 1: Remove Old Mortar 

The first step undertaken by a remedial builder is the meticulous removal of old, deteriorating mortar. This is done using tools like chisels and grinders, taking care not to damage the surrounding bricks. The depth of removal typically ranges from half to three-quarters of the brick’s depth, ensuring a solid base for the new mortar. It’s a delicate process requiring precision, as preserving the brick’s integrity is paramount.

Step 2: Prepare New Mortar 

After removing the old mortar, the next step is to prepare the new mortar mix. This involves combining sand, cement, and lime in specific ratios to match the existing mortar’s strength, colour, and texture. The mix should be neither too dry nor too wet, achieving a consistency that holds its shape but is pliable enough for easy application. Proper mixing is crucial to ensure the longevity and aesthetic match of the repointing work.

Step 3: Apply New Mortar 

Applying the new mortar is a skilful task where the mixed mortar is carefully pressed into the cleaned joints using a pointing trowel. This step requires attention to detail to fill the joints completely, ensuring there are no air pockets or gaps. The mortar should be compacted well to form a strong bond with the bricks, providing structural stability and preventing moisture penetration.

Step 4: Finish and Clean 

The final step involves finishing the mortar joints to ensure they are smooth and match the wall’s existing pattern. Depending on the desired joint profile, various tools can be used to shape the mortar. Once the mortar begins to set, any excess is cleaned off the brick faces. This step is crucial for aesthetic reasons and to prevent any residual mortar from hardening on the brick surface, which can be difficult to remove later.

Repointing a brick wall

What Tools Do I Require to Repoint Brickwork? 

To repoint brick, you need a chisel, hammer, mortar mix, trowel, jointer, brush, and safety equipment like gloves and goggles.

Repointing brick involves removing and replacing the deteriorating mortar in the joints of a brick wall. The process starts with a chisel and hammer to carefully remove the old mortar without damaging the bricks.

Once the old mortar is removed to an adequate depth, the new mortar is mixed to match the existing mortar in colour and composition. This is crucial for maintaining the structural integrity and aesthetic of the brickwork. A trowel is used to apply the new mortar into the joints, and a jointer helps shape and compact the mortar for a clean finish. After the mortar is applied, a brush removes excess mortar and cleans the brick faces.

Finally, wearing safety equipment like gloves and goggles is essential to protect yourself from dust and debris during the process.

Can I Repoint Brickwork Myself? 

Yes, you can repoint brick on your own, especially if you have the tools and experience. You’ll need a basic understanding of masonry to repoint brick, along with patience and precision in removing old mortar and applying the new one.