PaulDearing.com
Carrie Makes a Point
Categories: House

In a masonry context, “pointing” is a word that describes stuffing mortar into the spaces between bricks or stones. With the roof projects nearly complete and the electrical and plumbing projects well under way, we started our foundation repair today.

The foundation of our old house is made of stone. For the most part it is still stable, but the 85 year-old mortar has turned to dust which allows any stones not stacked well to move.

In this “before” picture taken from inside the basement, you can see daylight shining through one of the larger holes. Holes are bad in so many ways. They mean that part of the foundation may settle and they also let in a variety of animal life, such as mice.

Step one was to clean out as much loose mortar as possible. As dry as it is, this was accomplished by simply vacuuming it out with the shop-vac. Next we brought home our first bag of “S” type mortar for our first test pointing. We also picked up a variety of pointing trowels and two mortar bags. Mortar bags are like big pastry bags that you fill with mortar and squeeze to inject mortar into the gaps between stones.

We’ll know better when we mix our second bag. They make cement and mortar mixing trays the shape that they do for a good reason. We tried mixing 94 pounds of mortar in a round tub with nearly vertical sides. It was very difficult getting the hoe into the corners so mixing was much more difficult than it needed to be. Next time we’ll use the shallow sloped cement mixing trays.

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