Roofing Question

Sandy mortar!

My builder has repointed repointed some of the barn roof tiles on the lower addition of my house. I am concerned that the mortar mix that he has used is very weak, as it has cracked and breaks easily. You can also crumble it away with your fingers as it appears to be very sandy. The builder has stated that he used a 1:4 mix as any stronger would crack the tiles. He's been back around but says it is fine, but i'm still concerned. Any advice please.

13 Answers

Best Answer

Your builder is wrong to say its fine if the mortar is crumbling away.
The mix sounds ok at 4/1 if this is what he did use, the problem is either the sand is to soft, and maybe should have been sharper, or I suspect he done it during the low temperatures we had, and it has killed the mortar, which I try to avoid, or never used a wintermix/frost proofer or covered his work up at the end of the day.
Another problem could be that he back bedded the tiles one day, then came back to point up over, which isnt good practice.
I would suggest you got your builder back, rake out all the mortar and rebed and point up in one, if he is a decent builder Im sure he will put it right.

Answered 26th Mar 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

A 1:4 mix is fairly strong mix which should be fine however it shouldnt be sandy and from what you have described i doubt it is 1:4.As for the cracking the tiles if the mix was stronger i think the builder having you in the bag.

Answered 26th Mar 2011

D.S Builders

Member since 2 Jun 2008

There are few possibiltys why pionting can be damaged in this way
1. It has been dried too fast by the sun
2. Or it has been caught by the frost
As for mortar for brickwork and pointing anything from 3to1 to 6to1 is ok. though 4to1 is the preferd mix

Answered 26th Mar 2011

Swift Building Masters

Member since 28 Jul 2010

Sounds to me as if the mix was wrong (4:1) should be strong enough. It could also have been not mixed right, used to dry of the pointing has just been skimmed over.

Hope this helps.

Answered 26th Mar 2011

B.T.B Roofing Services

Member since 13 Apr 2008

As other roofers have said, the best mix for ridge is 3 to 1 mix. Pointing up tends to look ok but will dry and crumble within no time at all. Its always better to reseat rigde tiles.

Answered 27th Mar 2011

RL Roofing

Member since 4 Apr 2010

personaly i would of used a 3/1 mix. hope it all goes well for you

Answered 26th Mar 2011

DMD building services

Member since 13 Mar 2011

I use a 1-3 mix with a pva admixture and a plasticiser in my roof mortar mixing. The pva bonds everything together. I think the "crack the tiles" comment is nonsense. I have been roofing for years and never heard of such happening.

Answered 26th Mar 2011

Didsbury Roofing Services

Member since 12 Oct 2010

hi,when repointing i always gauge the mix.using a large mug so you get the same colour and consistancy.are you sure he took out all the old mortor and never went over the top etc.i certainly would investicate and get it done properly has this may cause problems.if your happy get him back and explain to him you need it doing again and ask him how he mixed up etc.many thanks kentishbuilder

Answered 26th Mar 2011

kentish builder

Member since 14 Jul 2009

If your builder has used a 1:4 mix he must have done something terrabley wrong, you are within your rights to be conserned, it shouldnt be crumbleing away with your fingers, a 1:4 mix would look rather strong anyway so i cant understand why it would look sandy, just tell him your not happy with the standard of work hes done you.

Answered 26th Mar 2011

D&A Builders

Member since 25 Mar 2011

all depends on the type of roof you have but usually the mix for ridge tiles would be best in 3 to 1 mix if the property is in a very exposed location

Answered 26th Mar 2011

MD Construction

Member since 16 Apr 2009

wrong mix somewhere along the line, fingers? to crumble it? rake out and replace

Answered 27th Mar 2011


Member since 23 Nov 2010

No feedback

soory but i only use 2-1 mix with plasticiser the other mixes seem to week

Answered 31st Mar 2011

Thomas Adams

Member since 26 Jul 2009

I agree with that of the other builders Three-In-One mix is the best way forward and repointed ridge tiles is really not correct you should taken off and reset them on correctly

Answered 13th Mar 2017

Home Shield Roofing

Member since 7 Mar 2017

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