repointing brickwork

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hi,
wondering if anyone could give me a little guidance here. i live in a semi-detached house that need some repointing doing to the brickwork. i'm thinking of having the whole lot done including the chimney. it's standard red brick, nothing fancy but i was wondering if anybody could give me a general idea about how much it's going to cost me. thanks for any help
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Suggest you contact Gun Point
http://www.gunpoint-south.co.uk/default.htm
You may find a branch more local to you. I used them several times for brickwork repairs and repointing after subsidence damage and was always pleased with the result. Can't remember square metre rate, sorry, but remember thinking the cost was a lot lower than I had expected.
Peter
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Peter Taylor wrote

Maybe a better link is http://www.gunpointlimited.co.uk/conta1.htm
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Whoever you use, first check to see that you don't have lime mortar. If modern cementious mortar is used to repoint a lime mortar house, you could cause serious damage and some of the brain dead spods that get contracted to do the work wouldn't have a clue.
Christian.
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I'm probably going to need some repointing done soon. I'm assuming that my house (1900's terraced) will have been built using lime mortar, right? Assuming so, what are my chances of finding a brickie who will use it these days? Won't they all just want to use cement-based stuff instead?
David
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Lobster wrote:

Nah. Its very fashionable. juts bang in hydrated line instead of portland and slap it in.

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better bet
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Hi.
One point not mentioned yet is that sound mortar should never be stripped out of old houses built with soft bricks. One should only replace mortar that is loose and can be removed by hand. So you never do a complete repoint, but always patch, and be prepared to patch again several years later. The reason is that most of these houses have been repointed already with cement, which is much stronger than the bricks, and if you remove the cement it breaks part of the brick away with it. You can do a lot of damage this way.
Regards, NT
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stuart noble wrote:

Just use 1:1:6, or even approach 1:2:9.
J.B.
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1:1:6 is very common, but has been widely criticised by the experts, since the lime content causes thr cement to not checmically set properly, and the cement clogs the pores preventing the lime going off properly as well. The result is regular failures. But its still commonly used. I expect it'll take another 10 years for the knowledge to permeate.
Regards, NT
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N. Thornton wrote:

So what would you suggest, or an expert recommend?
--
Toby.

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Toby wrote in message ...

needs to be fairly thick to avoid getting it on the brick faces.
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Andrew Gabriel
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I'm no expert on this, I've just read a few papers on it, so I'd stick my head in the sand and suggest asking an expert :) Seriously, when I read it I was boggled with the complexity of what I thought was such a simple thing.
I did discover one thing though, which is inclusion of 1% plastic fibres increases longeveity by controlling cracks and increasing strength under tension. The Victorians knew this principle, and it was standard practice to include horsehair in their mixes because it extended mortar life significantly.
I wish I could give us all a better answer. I still dont know what to repoint the house with.
Regards, NT
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N. Thornton wrote:

I think we are in the same situation. This house has had about 10% repointed with cement, and a survey stated it was poor, although doesn't seem at all bad to me. Trouble is the front has very thin joints hence easy to make a mess of. As this place will get sold within 5 years, I think I'll just give the facade a scrub; this should give the mortar a fresher appearance so may pass a casual inspection. I've used 1:1:6 mix on small jobs such as window reveals and it seems to have performed just fine.
On the flip side, lime mortar houses circa 1900 are great for putting holes in, as easy as Lego.
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Toby.

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You've got to be joking! My 1909 house is terrible for putting holes in. The mortar and brick are so soft, it is hard to drill anything without whole bricks disintegrating.
I can often get one in by turning off hammer until it is an inch in. After that, the hammer is required to advance, and very careful and delicate hammer can sometimes get deeper without smashing the thing.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

Well, I meant window sized holes, being careful not to end up with patio door sized holes ;-) But yes I agree. I have an intriguing 1st floor brick/lime mortar internal dividing wall supported on a regular joist. I think the bricks must be the Victorian equivalent of thermolites as there just does not seem to be any substance to them. A stubborn finger is all that is needed to transform them to dust (Discovered after attempting to fix basin to wall... :-(
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Toby wrote:

I've been warned not to do that as the bricks tend to become absorbent and turn green. The accumulated muck keeps the water out apparently.

If I understood it right it works but is weak, and will fail early. Consider that decent cement or lime mixes should last over 50 years at least. So 'early' might not be such a big problem.
I gather the best mix is lime and sand plus a pozzolan. Brick dust is a pozzolan, I dont remember what the others are.

I wonder if you have undercooked bricks, rejects. Old bricks are soft, but they shouldnt be that bad. Usually the rejects were used on the inner layer of wall, so Vic houses tend to look a right eyesore if the plaster's stripped off, with broken, misshapen, burnt and undercooked bricks galore. Perhaps an inexperienced builder was involved. Who knows.
Regards, NT
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Well, the bricks I've seen drilled have all been inside, mostly in the fireplace, as elsewhere they are covered in plaster, so I can't see what's going on. About a quarter are black (but probably because they formed the flue, although there isn't much of a pattern), most are cracked.
Christian.
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I should mention that the brick front facade is excellent with a mixture of grey, yellow and red brick in the local Reading brick fashion. It's a shame the presumably original roof slates haven't lasted as well.
Christian.
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