Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Re-pointing a brick front porch
7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Re-pointing a brick front porch

I have brick steps that lead up to the front porch and the mortar is crack in a number of places. It looks like a previous owner tried to use caulk to patch it up but I don't think it is working due to the moist cinder block wall in the basement below.
I have seen many articles on re-pointing a brick wall and was wondering if any additional precautions need to be taken into account when re-pointing brick steps. I would like to take out the old caulk and get a clean look about it.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Re: Re-pointing a brick front porch

You will need a grinder w/a masonary blade, goggles gloves and a long sleeve shirt. (A mask wouldnt hurt) grind out all mortar joints at least 1 inch, then hose down and start repointing.

Re: Re-pointing a brick front porch

If the bricks are antique, then standard mortar mixes will not work. Historic brick requires additional experience.

Re: Re-pointing a brick front porch

Ask This Old House did a segment on repointing brick last season. Here’s a quick recap.

You first need to remove the old failing mortar (and caulk). Use a tool called a raking bar to clean out the horizontal (bed) joints. You want to take the old mortar out to a depth of about 1 inch. The raking bar is tapered so with a typical half inch joint the raking bar will only go in about an inch. The vertical joint (head joints) should be cleaned out with a hammer and chisel. Remove all the loose mortar. Then make up new mortar. There are different mortars for different applications. They have different proportions of sand, lime, and cement. The type they used on Ask TOH was a type N mortar. It is important that you use the right mortar. If the mortar is harder than the bricks then the bricks will crack when they expand with changing temperature.

After the mortar is mixed up and ready to use (it has to cure for a little while after mixing) then you spray the bricks with some water first to prevent them from sucking the water out of the mortar mix. Then you pack the joints with the mortar mix. When the joints are packed you point them (shape them) with a concave pointing tool. When you are done with that you have to scrape off the excess mortar with the trowel, let the mortar partially cure, then brush the brick with a stiff brush across the grain to clean it.

Re: Re-pointing a brick front porch

Where do I find a raking bar? :confused:

Re: Re-pointing a brick front porch


Home Depot or Lowes? Or try Googling it.

Re: Re-pointing a brick front porch

I know there is in home depot
but you can always buy it in internet do it yourself stores
it'll probably cost more :) but it's easier and get shifted to your house...

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.