Hydraulic Lime Mortars and Repointing

Water is the number one enemy in the battle to defend historic masonry from deterioration. The first line of defense against water infiltrating a masonry structure is the mortar joint itself. The process of replacing decayed mortar joints is called “stone pointing” or “tuck pointing.” When repointing a historic structure there are many variables to consider: compressive strength of the mortar, joint style, texture, and color. In addition, Restoration Artisans, LLC evaluates the individual needs of each building and matches it with the appropriate mortar for repointing. Whether the project is an 18th century farmhouse with lime mortar and a colonial ridge joint or a church bell tower with a ribbon joint framing each stone, every joint style is meticulously replicated to exact specifications.

Restoration Artisans use hydraulic lime mortars because of their superior vapor permeability and flexibility within historic structures. Lime mortars also have the ability to “self-heal” hairline cracks that develop within the joint, a property that hard Portland mortars do not possess. Many historic buildings have been damaged with improper repointing techniques and inappropriate materials. The same repointing procedures can be used in the repair of historic brickwork as well. Restoration Artisans would be pleased to assist you in evaluating your historic structure for its specific repointing needs.

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