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How it Works: Repointing Brick and Stone Walls

Ever since man knew how to put two stones together, stone structures have been erected on the face of this Earth. This gradually evolved to include construction materials such as bricks. Naturally, keeping two (and many) of these building blocks together requires an adhesive—mortar, lime, or cement. The finish that’s applied to these bricks and the adhesive holding them together is the “pointing.” Repointing, then, is when you need to redo the pointing, courtesy of faulty pointing.

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Why Pointing Matters

Whether it’s mortar or cement, the adhesive beds the bricks firmly in place. Larger joints can be reduced in size with the help of small stones or chucked pieces of stone. additionally, mortar bedding also helps prevent water penetration. Acting like a porous sponge, it both keeps water seepage at bay while letting the structure breathe.

Why Faulty Pointing is a Serious Cause for Concern

Incorrect or faulty pointing isn’t just damaging—it’s permanently damaging. In many cases wherein faulty pointing isn’t duly resolved, irreparable damage may be caused to the structure. This is especially true in terms of older buildings, which suffer from pointing gone wrong over time.

Faulty pointing disfigures the structure and the stonework and doesn’t allow the building to breathe. Additionally, over time the wall’s surface undergoes erosion and allows too much water in. This is where repair comes in.

How it Works

Repointing is all about solidifying the wall again, making it porous and breathable again, and filling gaps. Mortar mix that is compatible with the structure is used for this purpose, whereas the joints are cut similarly to prevent feathering. With vintage buildings, the process is even trickier since cement cannot be used. A drier material is needed for these buildings, and deep repointing is often needed as a measure against shrinkage and gaps. The aim is to bond the material as steadfastly as possible.

AMN Restoration and Masonry takes care to mimic the original mortar so that the final result is as aesthetically pleasing as possible. We are also very careful in the cutting of mortar joints in order to reduce damage to a bare minimum. Everything we do is done with the intent of reducing the risk to a minimum while ensuring the building is brought back to its original shape. We use hammers and chisels by hand to bring about the desired effects.

When done at the right time, repointing is a strategic step taken as a long-term, cost-saving contingency plan. Completion of such work in a proper and professional manner is imperative in order to lessen the damage.

Looking for Professional Repointing Services in Boston?

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AMN Restoration and Masonry has over 13 years of experience in all things masonry and repair related. We have firsthand experience with vintage buildings and we offer our repointing services in Boston and the greater Boston region. Get a quote from us today or give us a call at (774) 244-8248 to discuss your options with us.  

Adriano Nunes