Historic masonry buildings can last for centuries if maintained appropriately. One of the most common maintenance items required is repointing open or defective mortar joints. Selecting an appropriate mortar for the type of unit masonry and wall construction for a project is critical. If a mortar used for repointing is too hard and too dense, rapid deterioration of the masonry unit can ensue, especially in the case of softer historic brick. Review what to consider when specifying a mortar for repointing. Learn about mortar history, sampling, testing, and data analysis. We’ll also discuss the material properties of non-hydraulic and hydraulic binders, aggregates, and historically appropriate additives. Compare modern mortar mixes to historically accurate mortar materials and mixes to help determine when these mortar types are appropriate to use for historic masonry buildings.

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