Brick pointing is the method of applying a small amount of mortar into the face joint between bricks. These bricks can either be newly laid ones or old brickwork. In new brickwork, pointing is done to apply harder mortar to increase weather protection on the exposed faces. In old brickwork, the method is used to repair the mortar joints that have been eroded by exposure to various elements.
For laying new and old brickwork, there are several techniques that need to be followed in order to do the task properly.
On new brickwork, brick pointing should be done at convenient intervals. Breaks at convenient points must be held to allow sufficient time for cleaning out the surface mortar of the section. The mortar in the joints should be scraped to a depth of about 12 mm from the brick surface. A wall can only be pointed when it has been completed.
In terms of old brickwork, the important brick pointing techniques include chipping out the old mortar and pointing it to a right depth. The standard depth is 12 mm from the brick surface. In removing the old mortar, angle grinders are often used. Take note that the process will cause a lot of dust, so you better wear face mask and goggles as you do the job.
Once the wall is ready to be pointed, the brick pointing techniques for the mortar follows. Make sure that the joints are wetted first before being filled with the pointing mortar.
Make a fairly stiff mix of the mortar and put a small amount on a hawk. In cutting off slithers of mortar, a small pointing trowel can be used. Hold the mortar up on the edge of the trowel and press it into the joints to be filled. Then, carefully draw the blade backwards. Repeat the steps until the mortar is flushed with the face of the bricks.
Do the brick pointing techniques by filling the vertical cross-joints first, followed by the horizontal bed-joints. When more than a square meter has been filled, finish it using the required style.