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Tips on replacing brickwork mortar

Tips on replacing brickwork mortar

Falling mortar on brickwork does not mean the end of your beautiful wall. You do not need to hire a professional either because the following tips will guide you on how to do repainting, or the removal of the old mortar and replacing with new mortar. Despite this, the process needs utmost care and the use of the right tools and materials so as not to damage the brick or ruin the wall’s good appearance.

The type of mortar that you should use will depend on when the brickwork was built. For older walls, lime mortar is preferable because it is what was used to join the brick together. The mortar consists of a mixture of lime putty with sand. This type of mortar is also preferable due to its flexibility ability of moving with the bricks movement. It also allows moisture to move out of the wall easily. If the brickwork is not old, you may use mortar that is cement based. The downside is that the mortars is hard and as the bricks expand and shrink, their bond break trapping the moisture and causing the bricks to pop off. After you decide on the mortar to use, below are the steps you should take.

Remove the old mortar

Remove old mortar from horizontal joints to about ¾ in depth using a chisel and hammer. For wider joints, go deeper by two and half times. Remove the mortar on vertical joints using a painter’s tool and hammer. Take care not to hit the bricks edges when removing the mortar. Clean and water the wall Using a brush with stiff bristles, remove the debris from the wall. Sprinkle water to the wall until it begins to drip. This will prevent the dry brick from absorbing the moisture from the mortar applied preventing it from drying properly. Fill the mortar the next day.

Filling the mortar

After waiting for a day, wet the bricks again. Mix the mortar you are using until it achieves a peanut butter consistency and sticks to a trowel. Wait for 15 minutes for a film of water to form and then stir again. You can now apply the mortar to the bricks. If the mixture dries in the process, add water to it. Add the mortar to the joint by scooping it with a brick trowel and pushing it to the joint. Pass the trowels edge over the applied mortar to remove voids and keep adding the mortar until the joint is completely filled. Smooth the mortar with the trowels face and remove the excess from the brick. Take care that the mortar does not get to the face of bricks.


Wait for the mortar to dry and become firm, then remove dry crumbs by brushing diagonally. Avoid brushing the mortar in line because it may remove fresh mortar. Remove residual mortar from the faces of the bricks. Cover the wall for about three days and sprinkle water on it to keep it moist and for the mortar to cure properly.

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