Brick re-pointing is the process of removing cracked, damaged and crumbling mortar from the joints of masonry structures and replacing it. The procedure is vital to the preservation of both historical and contemporary buildings.
One of the main causes of mortar breakdown is salt deposit, which are generally caused by two things.
Salt is sometimes naturally present in the building materials themselves, and it can be forced to the surface of the mortar and masonry units by water (rain, power washing, sleet, etc.) or rising damp from the ground. 2. Salt can be also absorbed by mortar and masonry units from the groundwater that gathers or flows at the foundation of a building.
Salt deposits look like white stains or bleached out areas, where the masonry units are unusually lighter than the rest of the bricks and stones that are surrounding them. When salt deposits gather beneath the surface of a masonry construction, they expand, and the pressure of the expansion causes the mortar and masonry units to crack, crumble and erode.
A Word of Advice
It is much easier and less expensive to replace mortar through brick re-pointing than it is to replace masonry units. So if you have noticed any salt deposits on your home or business property, you should take immediate action and contact a masonry contractor for advice. Once salt deposits form, they will only continue to grow and cause even greater and more expensive damage.