Well the time of holidaze is almost over and the time for work begun, so I used the last day of my holiday (sob) to do some re-pointing.
For those of you who do not have an aging brick house or who have someone else (or can afford someone else) to do nasty things like DIY for you, repointing is the process of making the cracks in your bricks where the mortar that holds them together has worn away go from this:
The other definition of builder’s crack
At least this form of builder’s crack is fixable
I had two live demonstrations of mixing mortar and using a trowel to re-point, thanks to DIY Dad.
It was at that point, I decided there was no way in hell I was doing re-pointing with a trowel and ordered a mortar gun from the UK:
Unfortunately, the mortar gun experiment was a bit of a fail – according to the instructions one is supposed to use fine sand in one’s mix, but I have pre-made mix (just add water, sweat and tears) so the gun just clogs. Possibly the pre-mixed dry mix is using normal sand, not fine sand. Damn.
However having made a significant amount of mortar, with the view it would be easy to do with the gun, I had to use it all up…and found that using my hands (encased in gloves, naturellement) was the easiest and quickest for me…probably given my incredible lack of DIY coordination and skillz:
That patch of re-pointing seems to be growing…hopefully it is contagious
Doing it sans trowel is sort of like making mud pies…only it is fixing something and increasing the value of my house. What’s not to like?
Of course it is slightly messier than the painstaking, laborious trowel method…luckily I am a good cleaner upper.
At this rate, I will be round the front of the house by autumn!
Her majesty is acting as site supervisor and regularly checks progress:
You missed a bit
As of today, I have managed to almost finish 1/6 of the surface area of my house that requires re-pointing:
Taaadaaaaaaaaaah – applause please
I hae to say, no matter how amateurish it may be to adopt the “mud pie” approach to re-pointing, at least I am one step ahead of the person who previously tried to do it on this house…they used cement and not mortar. And that’s a no-no (or so I am told).
Of course, this war on crack (so to speak) has not been without casualties:
- dry hands (the lime in the mix dries out your hands even if you are wearing gloves)
- a massive set of scratches down my leg when I stood on a crate to do some re-pointing on the upper courses of bricks (note to all – DIY-tards, each line of bricks in your house is called “a course”)…and it broke under me 😦
it looks like the evil dead tried to grab my calf, but I escaped
And then of course, there is the famous WA heat – it’s currently 42.4°C in Perth and this side of the house catches the sun and heat in the arvo, so the re-pointing exercises have to be done early in the morning (not a time of day I am on speaking terms with…)
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