Repointing: how to check and repoint brickwork

Knowing how to repoint brickwork could help save you money and stay on top of your property's maintenance. Here's all you need to know about repointing

Repointing brickwork: when and how to do it

Repointing brickwork is an essential maintenance job if you want your home to weather the elements effectively. Mortar is your wall’s first defence against water ingress. It is softer than brick and stone so at some point in the life of a building, it will start to deteriorate, however a good repointing job on your home should last up to 50 or 60 years.

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How do you know if bricks need repointing?

If you can easily see open joints around the mortar bed, then it’s time to repoint. It is a straightforward job and the materials needed aren’t expensive – but the labour costs can be quite high. It can also be tricky to find a builder willing to take on small repointing jobs, which is why many people decide to do it themselves. Don’t forget though, that DIY repointing will usually require scaffolding hire.

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How do you repoint bricks?

Remove the old pointing with a hammer and chisel, then brush out any dust that is left behind. Carefully measure out your mortar mix to keep the colour consistent throughout the repointing process. Work from the top of the wall downwards, pushing the mortar in firmly, working from right to left. Once two or three courses have been repointed, the vertical joins between can be filled too. Once dry, use a wire brush to take off the excess mortar and leave a face joint that is only just recessed from the face of the wall