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Question DetailsAsked on 2/27/2018

How long does it take to grind out old mortar before tuckpointing?

We have a 2500 sq ft home in Chicago area, only bottom half is brick. Mason wants to start grinding out old mortar the first week in March. Says it’s a two week process but nighttime temps are still in the 20s. Wondering if is safe to have bricks with no mortar while waiting for weather to warm up or should I push him back a few weeks?

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OK - 2500SF, assuming 2 story for size and your area - so probably about 40x32 feet in floor plan, so about 1100-1200 SF of brick by my figuring - less windows and doors say about 1000SF rough brick surface area. At about 10-15SF/manhour of grout removal I would guesstimate about 70-100 manhours of work to grind it out - so yeah, 2 week range.


If this is a true tuckpoint - removing ALL the mortar between the bricks, I would not allow that to sit for a couple of weeks - in fact, usually the grinding is only done a day ahead of the new mortar job, because leaving a wall of brick exposed without mortar makes it real weak and susceptible to moisture penetration (should be tarped when exposed). Also, if this is brick facade on a studwall, removing the mortar on large areas makes the entire thing prone to just slipping right off the wall, so I would require that the new mortaring follow along the renmoval process - whcih should not be done until low temps are pretty much guaranteed to be above about 40-45 degrees - so considering you are supposed to have freezing rain and snow tomorrow yeah, I would push the schedule back to better weather conditions.


Now - if this is just a surficial mortar removal for a "repointing" - say 1/4" or so as opposed to full brick depth removal, I would have no problem with that being done all at once - though I would not expect that to be more than a few man-days of work, and would not let it sit exposed (soaking up rain) for more than a few days at most.

Answered 8 months ago by LCD




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