When you have settling cracks in your brick walls, you need to get them repointed. This process is known as tuck pointing. However, before you make any attempts at repairing this yourself or hiring the repairs done by a contractor or handyman, you should know the top ten most common mistakes made in repointing mortar.
The first mistake is having the repairs made before checking for additional problems. Repairing the cracks in the mortar and brick before checking the foundation or other problems that occur can result in more damage to your home and to your masonry siding.
Settling cracks occur due to the foundation settling and applying stress to the bricks. This makes them a common symptom of foundation repair and can help in understanding where and how much movement of the foundation has occurred.
To tuck point the mortar and replace broken brick along these settling cracks limits the ability to accurately repair the house foundation. Performing these repairs often results in damage to the brick walls when the foundation is repaired. Any mortar or bricks placed in these cracks to fill the gap become a wedge and force the opposite crack to form in the area and the brick tend to push out at corners of the house causing brick walls to crack, lean away from the house, or come off the foundation entirely when the house is lifted.
It can not be stressed enough to check for other problems with the structure or foundation of the home before repairing mortar cracks.
The second most common mistake made in fixing settling cracks in brick is choosing a foundation repair company to level your foundation. There is a difference between leveling your foundation of your house and fixing your foundation problems.
There has never been a house foundation built perfectly level that I am aware of, and to level the foundation under your house would apply stresses to your home and cause more problems with your foundation. This in turn would create more cracks in the bricks and mortar joints around your home. When they stress the word level and use a computerized level for their readings, it is a strong indication that they intend to try leveling your foundation even if it causes more problems. If they focus on lifting, stabilizing, adjusting, and use the cracks in the mortar and brick to acquire their range of movement in the house slab, then they are likely taking more accurate details about the movement and have a better chance at providing quality foundation repair services.
The third common mistake in brick repair is using these tubes of mortar repair caulking in an attempt to repair the cracks yourself. While caulking is used around doors and windows and in expansion control joints to seal the wall and still allow movement, they are not intended for use as the mortar and can cause other damage to the brick.
The caulking will never look like the mortar and tends to be difficult … Read More