Hi all. Went into my loft to put some junk up there but noticed that the mortar between the bricks is turning to powder. You can see straight through to the outside in a few places. The house is a 1890 semi. The problem appears at the top of the wall, where the roof meets the bricks and goes down 10 courses. That part of the wall is just one brick thick (is that normal??) Obviously needs fixing. Is it a serious problem or expensive? Any advice? Thank you
Sounds like the original morter was a lime morter mix.Depending on how secure the gable is, you will either have to rebuild the area or repoint the beds which have been effected. If the gable is not falling out, rake out the bed joints starting from the top to about a depth of 15mm and repoint with a mix of 1 part cement, 1 part lime and 5 parts sand.Dont make the mix to wet. grap a hand full of the mix and if you can squeeze the muck into a ball without it falling apart , thats what you wont. Repoint the beds on both sides of the wall.should sort it for you
To repoint properly (see our project on repointing brickwork) you will need to rake out the bad joints. If you can already see through some of them and the gable is leaning over it would suggest that any further raking out could lead to the gable toppling so be very careful. Get a few quotes from local builders to repoint but stress that provision needs to be made in any estimate for stabilising (making safe) the wall during the repointing.
Another question if i may. Would it be wise for me to repoint fom inside where the mortar is crumbling the most. Would that strengthen the gable enough or would it be better to get builder in to do job properly? I think i know the answer actually!!
Sounds like you need to take down the area wich is leaning out. Remove bricks until you get to a course which is secure. If you have done a bit of bricklaying and its a half brick wall, with scaffolding you might be able to ebuild it yourself. remember to gauge, plume and work to a string line.
Good luck :)
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