Bricklaying Question

Crumbling wet mortar near ground level


We've recently moved into a 1930's semi and I've just noticed that along the bottom of the exterior wall to the end of the house, the mortar is very soft, wet and crumbly. The problem goes up about 3 or 4 layers of brick. The wall is next to a concrete path so I'm guessing that over the years the brickwork and mortar have got repeatedly wet from rain splashing up against it (the brickwork in this area has a green covering but the bricks are very solid). No water has currently penetrated through as far as I can tell as the wall is dry on the interior.

Am I right in thinking I just need someone to come and rake out the old mortar and repoint?

Thanks in advance for any responses.


3 Answers

Best Answer

Hi Danielle,
If it is a solid brick building with no cavity which is about right for this era and the material is soft it will probably be lime mortar, you would be correct in getting it re-pointed WITH LIME MORTAR, this will allow your wall to continue to breathe and do it job properly.
There is no cement in lime mortar, anyone who tells you different run a mile from, on this type of building applying a cement based pointing can cause dampness issues.
Good luck Alex

Answered 22nd Sep 2013

ADR Property Maintenance

Member since 1 Mar 2009

Actually, cavities did come into play in the early 1900's so this could be a cavity wall. Secondly, early cement was also used in the early 1900's although not as strong as the current product. In theory it could be a solid wall or cavity, cement or lime!! Get a reputable builder round to have a look or a surveyor, it's impossible for anyone to give you an answer without seeing it!!!! Its a common problem and can happen on any building, whether it be a Victorian terrace or a modern 5 bed detached house. A simple repointing job will fix it but it needs to be done properly, a decent builder will know what needs doing and it won't cost the earth!

Answered 23rd Sep 2013

R.Hughes Building and Conservation Ltd

Member since 25 Feb 2009

As all brickwork is exposed to elements of extreme weather conditions .Over time the pointing will deteriorate and brickwork too, depending on the solidity of the materials used.
My advise would be to rake out,and re-point without doubt to rectify this problem .

Answered 2nd Feb 2017


Member since 10 Jun 2015

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