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Leakage of water through joints of brick masonry walls can be repaired by grouting or repointing the joints. The wind often drives water through joints or adjacent structural elements such as floors or staircases leaning toward the wall and leading water toward the wall. The treatment of joints should include both vertical and horizontal joints of the wall.

Inspect the wall properly and specify defected areas, then prepare the wall joints for either grouting or repointing. Repointing is the process of removing mortar from joint to a depth of nearly 1.6cm, and repoint the joint with suitable grout.

Leaky Joints in Masonry Wall
Fig. 1: Leaky Joints in Masonry Wall

How to Repair Leaky Joints in Masonry Walls

  1. Determine defective joints through which water travels.
  2. Remove mortar from deteriorated joints to a depth of around 1.6cm, Fig. 2.
  3. Clean joints with water to remove dust and dirt from both joints and bricks.
  4. When the wall is still damp, but with no visible water, repoint the joints with suitable mortar.
  5. Place the mortar tightly into the joint. The mortar should have a stiff consistency to take its place correctly. To reduce shrinkage, wait for 1 hour or more before the application of the mortar into the joints, Fig. 3.
  6. After repointing, keep the masonry in a damp condition for 2 to 3 days. If the bricks are highly absorptive, they may contain a sufficient amount of water to aid materially in curing.
  7. Use grouting when less expensive treatment method is desired, but it is less effective, durable, water-resistant than the repointing technique.
  8. A grout consists of an equal quantity of Portland cement and sand.
  9. Wet the masonry wall sufficiently, and apply a thin coating of grout over the joints in the masonry when it is in a damp condition.
  10. As the grout gains heavy cream consistency, scrub it into the joint with a stiff bristle brush, and increase the apparent thickness of the masonry joints.
  11. Remove excess grout from smooth-textured brick with a damp sponge, before the grout hardens.
  12. Care should be taken not to remove grout from between the edges of the brick and the mortar joints.
Remove Mortar from the Joint
Fig. 2: Remove Mortar from the Joint
Prepare Mortar Mix
Fig. 3: Prepare Mortar Mix

FAQs on Repair of the Leaky Joints in Masonry Wall

?How do you fix leaky joints in brick wall?

Leakage of water through joints of brick wall masonry can be repaired by grouting or repointing the joints.

?What is repointing?

Repointing is the process of removing mortar from joint to a depth of nearly 1.6 cm, and repoint the joint with suitable grout.

?How long should mortar be cured after repointing?

After repointing, keep the masonry in a damp condition for 2 to 3 days.

?What is the mix proportion for grout?

The grout should have an equal quantity of Portland cement and sand.

Madeh Izat Hamakareem

Madeh Izat Hamakareem

EDITOR
Madeh is a Structural Engineer who works as Assistant Lecturer in Koya University. He is the author, editor and partner at theconstructor.org.

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