What’s the point in repointing?

What is pointing?

Pointing is the mortar around bricks in a wall that holds the structure and ensures weatherproofing. Bricks are built to last hundreds of years. The mortar surrounding them, however, is sadly not. This ‘pointing’ will need a little TLC from time to time.

Why should I have my walls repointed?

Aside from helping to hold up your house, mortar protects against water ingress and.helps prevent heat loss through the walls. After rain, water can freeze in the bricks and surrounding mortar, expanding and causing damage. This freeze-thaw weathering does not look good and ignoring damaged or substandard mortar could lead to a damp and cold house.

How do I know if my walls need repointing?

If you can see gaps in the mortar surrounding bricks, it’s time to think about repointing.

Can I repoint walls myself?

The materials for the job are not expensive, but you may want to consider getting a builder in, as it’s a time-consuming task and some areas can be hard to reach. Pointing is sometimes done with cement, but it is worth spending a bit more on the traditional lime mortar. Cement will look awful and does not allow water to escape in the same way as lime mortar. This means that wetting and drying of the wall happens in the bricks themselves, resulting in frost damage. You will end up with the bricks eroding before the pointing, which is exactly what you do not want.

How much does repointing cost?

It should cost between £20-£40 per metre-squared, depending on the condition of the brickwork. Scaffolding may add to the price. However, it’s well worth spending a bit of money. The pointing should last 50-100 years, so you probably won’t need to do it again in your lifetime! You could end up with far more expensive repair works if water gets in through cracks in your walls, causing damp.

Are there any alternatives to repointing?

Yes – external wall insulation, and some renders, will provide a weather-tight seal on your external walls, as well as adding to their thermal qualities. It’s an expensive option, but it can really smarten up your property, and save you a lot of money on your heating bills in years to come.

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