Brick pointing, no big deal
The procedure used to repair brick joints
is call Brick pointing or Tuck pointing. Weather, sunlight, expansion
and fiction from building movement are some of the reasons mortar in
brick joints deteriorate. Porous brick joints can cause water to leak
into home and buildings interior causing further structure damage.
Before starting protect skin, eyes and
hands. Use dust mask, safety glasses, gloves, and protective clothing.
Mortar that comes in contact with the
skin should be washed off from time to time. Some people are allergic or
sensitive to mortar and should avoid any contact with mortar.
Brick pointing tools
Hammer: at lease 16 ounce
Masons brush; some times acid brush.
brush: to brush out dust and lose mortar.
Caulking gun: so that you can use concrete caulking at base of work and
exterior caulking at windows and doors, Figure 5.
jointer: to smooth out joints, Figure 7.
pointing trowel: for placing mortar into joints, Figure 6.
Mixing pan: to mix mortar.
Gallon buckets: for water and clean up.
hose: to wash down work area.
cloth: optional; to cover work area.
Ladder or scaffold.
mix your own mortar with cement, lime and sand.
Concrete caulking for base of wall.
Flashing tar if working on chimney or on top of roof.
silicone or latex caulking
Prep your brick pointing
Before starting wet the ground and /or cover the ground.
by moistening the wall and joints with water, let joints dry some, (with
damp clean joints the mortar will stick better). As mentioned you will
want to optionally wet and hose down the ground so the mortar won’t
easily stick to the ground easily making clean up easy. Also muriatic
acid can be used to clean mortar from the brick and ground after mortar
Start brick pointing
brick pointing by chopping out old mortar with hammer and chisel
removing any loose or cracked mortar from between the bricks, (this may
not necessary at all points of your work.) afterwards wire brush joints
and wall. Chop out bad mortar in an inverted V shape, (optional) note
point wall with mortar mix cement, not regular cement. As
mentioned before you can mix your own cement using regular Portland
cement, sand, and lime, the lime make it stick to vertical surfaces. A
mix of 5 sand, 1 cement and 3/4 lime should do.
temperature should be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit so that mortar can
cure properly. Mix mortar as if you were mixing very thick oatmeal.
Place small amount of mortar on your trowel and scoop off into brick
joints with pointing tuck tool, Figure 2-4.
Finally use brick jointer to smooth out the joints, occasionally dipping
your jointer in water if your cement is dry or rough. Be sure to
occasionally stir up your mix to keep the sand from separating from the
view more illustrations on this subject visit
this site with wonderful images of pointed walls.
Below are illustrations for brick
Figure 1, Clean and caulk
windows Before caulking
Figure 2, Note: the open brick
seams in this wall easy way for water to penetrate
Figure 3, Brick point with mortar
Figure 4, Use trowel with
Chop out cracks in an inverted V shape
Figure 6 Brick pointing
Figure 7 Brick jointing tool
Jointing tools at
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Written by: Chet Thompson