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Proper Methods in Repairing Cracks in Masonry Work
Cracks in masonry work are very noticeable imperfections that are not pleasing to behold. Trying to do a haphazard restoration job can only worsen things up. The following are proper procedures that should be employed in repairing masonry cracks in mortar joints.
In tuck-pointing jobs, the first thing to do is to remove the old mortar from the joints. This can be done manually with a hammer and chisel or with power tools. For small work requirements, manual removal is advisable as the use of power equipments can cause permanent damage to bricks.
For manual work, use an appropriate brick-pointing chisel. The point and the shaft is specially designed to fit between two bricks without causing any damage. Chisel out at least 3 quarters on an inch deep into the mortar.
Avoid giving continuous hard blows with your hammer. The pounding energy from the blows can be transferred to the bricks and this can result to cracks or chips. The direction of chiseling should be in a sideways direction along the joint and never towards the brick.
After removing the old mortar, prepare the new mortar material that should match the texture and color of the old one. If necessary, color tinting may be required. To ensure getting a good match, clean the old joints with a stain remover bleach.
To get an exact match with the old mortar remaining in joints, use the same type of sand particles. Seek help from local brick and gravel suppliers on where to get similar sand. To get an accurate mortar analysis, try to dissolve old mortar in a muriatic acid solution. When the cement and lime is dissolved, sand particles will remain which you can bring to suppliers for matching.
When new mortar is available, dampen the old mortar joints before putting in the new mortar. Use a brick trowel, a pointing trowel and a tooling jointer to do the job properly.