I have a friend who is considering having their house pointed. It is stone faced at the front, brick at the rear and brick also on the side of the house. Now, they have been there around two years and it appears that they have a lot of damp in the house, and they are wondering if it needs the walls re-pointing. There is a lot of damp behind their washing machine in the kitchen. There are signs that the house has been damp proofed. They said that they had lots of damp in the front bedroom, upon the gable end. Down stairs where my friend’s husband chopped of the plaster in the pantry, he noticed that all the headers were wet. No others just the headers. Again these are on the gable end. I asked if they ever open the windows and they replied “no”. They have actually got a de-humidifier in the house too. So what do you think? Can this amount of damp be caused by poor pointing? You may be thinking, why are you posting this? Firstly, my friend and her fella don’t know anything about building, but know that along time ago I worked with a builder for about a year. Secondly, they are broke and hoped that now I have moved into the area that I maybe able to help out. I have done a little bit of pointing all those years ago, and was fairly neat. But I do realise that there are huge gaps in my knowledge. For instance I remember that it is important to determine what type of mortar was originally used and to re point using a close a match as possible. I think I remember that when pointing stone as opposed to brick that lime should be used to allow flexible joints and allow water to escape. I think cement does do allow this to happen. But I can’t remember what kind of ratios. Do you use cement with lime as well as sand? Or just lime and sand? I really can’t remember these basic things. Do you use lime when pointing brick work?
Sorry, I know that I am asking lots of questions, but I’m trying to help out a friend. They had some firms price it up but it was over £1500 and they were not even convinced that the 2 out of the 3 contractors knew what they were talking about.
So, I know that I can do the physical work, but just want to learn as much as possible about the technicalities of the work. I know that there is much more to it than meets the eye. Lots of people just come along, chop it out and point it with anything, not worrying about keeping the wall wet, mortar ratios, correct materials for different applications etc. One of the contractors suggested coating the gable end wall with a water seal. But I wondered if this would stop the brick work or mortar from breathing, i.e. lower the mortars permeability.
So any help would be appreciated.
I know that I maybe slightly out of my depth, but I am willing to learn and want to actually, I don’t want to help out if I’m not confident that I can do a good job.
repoint the able using a mix of 4:1:1 sand,cement,lime.When its dried spray or paint the gable with a silicone based sealer like aquaseal. By the sounds of what you discribed then the gable is the main culprit.It may also be a case of poor ventilation so installing airbricks in the gable can also help and or fitting trickle vents in the windows.
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