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Tuckpointing brick on an older home

So...I bought a house with a combo brick and stucco exterior. The house was built in 1880 and has some damage to the masonry due to water damage. I did my research on the difference between 1880 mortar and the super strong suff that's made today and set off getting estimates from masonry contractors. I'm now being told that because the house is (and will continue to be) painted that it's not necessary to match the mortar and that is in fact better to use the newer, stronger material. The difference between having the tuckpointing work done by a masonry contractor (and then subsequently getting the house painted) and having a painter do everything is in the thousands of dollars. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Tuckpointing brick on an older home

Mortar should never fail; if it does something else is wrong or it's all ready to crumble equally. I'd no more have the painter fix it than to let my accountant perform surgery on me- and I've got a really good accountant. You need to find someone who really knows old masonry and then follow their advice.

Hank Bauer
Re: Tuckpointing brick on an older home

No it is not better to use the new strong mortar.
If your mortar is a lime mortar DO NOT use portland cement type mortars.
Check out the NHL ( natural hydraulic lime )mortar it will come in three types
NHL1 NHL2 & NHL3 number 1 being the softest.
There is also a very good mortar manufactured by A W Cook Alt. GA.
Also check out U.S. Heritage in Chicago & Line Works in, PA
You could also check with the National Park Service in your area they may have a formular you can mix to match a typical mortar used in your area.
Look at it like this it has lasted over 140 years and using a poltland material will cause failure in 5 to 20 years.

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