Brick walls are a common sight across Australia. The majority of bricks in Australia are actually made of clay, this is because their construction is cheap and the material is considered sustainable. That’s an important environmental consideration.
However, regardless of how well built a brick wall is, over time it will weaken. This is because the wind, rain, and even the sun all work to damage the faces of the bricks. This deterioration shows in the condition of the wall. More importantly, these elements damage the mortar that sits between the bricks, holding the wall together.
The more mortar that is damaged the weaker the wall will become until it reaches a point where it could potentially collapse.
It is best not to wait that long!
There are several ways to strengthen the wall but the most common and practical approach is to have the brick repointing done by a professional.
Repointing means removing some of the mortar that s present between the bricks. It’s usually recommended to remove 15-20mm of mortar with a cold chisel or similar implement. You can then mix fresh mortar and fill the gaps, effectively repointing the wall and helping it to look new.
It is possible to match the colour of the new mortar to the old mortar but this is only necessary if you are only repointing a section of the wall.
If you decide to do this yourself you’ll need to pay attention to mortar drying time and ensure the mortar doesn’t dry out too quickly.
One of the most important reasons to repoint a wall is to increase its strength. As the mortar fails the wall will become weaker and is more likely to collapse in inclement weather. This will leave you without a wall which could affect your security and safety. You’ll also need to rebuild the wall.
Weak walls can collapse and this can happen at any time. When it does it is possible that falling brick could damage an object or even harm a person. That’s not something you want to be dealing with even if you have insurance against it.
Looking after your wall reduces the likelihood of this happening.
Whether you’re repointing your yard wall or house wall, you will be making sure your house looks its best. This will help it to maintain its value which is important if you ever want to sell it or are looking to release equity. It also encourages your neighbours to maintain their houses which helps to sustain the value of houses in your neighbourhood.
As mentioned, there are other ways to strengthen a wall but they generally involve adding supporting structures. Repointing is clean, tidy, and ensures the wall still looks original. That makes it the best option and something you should do sooner, rather than later. It’s not only likely to be cheaper, but it will also be more effective at maintaining wall strength.
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