What Are Mortar Joints?
Mortar joints are seams between two masonry blocks or bricks which are filled with mortar, a mixture of cement, sand, and water. The mortar provides a strong bond between them and prevents water from seeping into the walls, providing stability and insulation.
Mortar joints play an important role in the overall structure of masonry walls and provide strength by preventing lateral movement of individual bricks or stones.
To achieve optimum performance, the mortar joint should match the head joint profile, be properly cured and damp-proofed, and tuck-pointed when necessary to ensure a weathertight seal.
Mortar joints also act as further protection against moisture seepage and add to the aesthetic visual appeal of brickwork.
Mortar joints can be raked out, struck up flush, or sloped for different purposes including allowing for expansion of the wall in cold temperatures and giving the wall a smoother finish.
Different types of mortars like sanded, non-sanded, and cement-based mortars have varying characteristics which influence their use depending on the application.
What Is The Purpose Of Mortar Joints?
Mortar joints are used to securely and properly hold building materials together, such as bricks or stones.
They act as a strong adhesive and also serve to protect the materials from weather damage, by keeping moisture out of the area between wall sections.
Mortar jointing is a vital technique for increasing the stability and strength of masonry construction, as well as providing architectural decoration.
The porous nature of the mortar also allows for water to wick away from the material over time, helping prevent deterioration or cracking due to freeze-thaw cycles.
By utilizing mortar joints in masonry work, we can create strong structures that will resist thermal shifts while standing firm against environmental changes and other conditions.
What Size Mortar Joint Is Commonly Used?
Commonly used mortar joints come in a variety of sizes, but the most common size is 3/8-inch.
This size joint allows for good adhesion between bricks and permits adequate movement without cracking or failing.
In addition, it is easier to keep uniform than thinner joints, which can be difficult to achieve consistency with due to the small gap required.
Furthermore, its strong bond creates an effective weathertight seal that makes it ideal for exterior walls facing harsh conditions.
How Long Does It Take For Mortar Joints To Cure?
Mortar usually attains 60% of its ultimate compressive strength within the initial 24 hours and then requires around 28 days to reach its full curing strength.
Nevertheless, the curing procedure does not necessarily follow a definitive timeline.
A few major environmental variables influence the cure time of mortar, such as ambient temperature, air circulation, amount of water used for the mix, and humidity.
Should You Seal Mortar Joints?
Yes, you should seal mortar joints. Sealing your mortar joints is an important step in protecting your brick walls from water infiltration and weathering, which can cause premature deterioration.
Sealing the mortar also adds a layer of protection against dirt, mold, and mildew that can build up over time and stain or discolor your bricks.
Additionally, sealing the mortar helps to prevent insect infestations like carpenter ants and termites from entering into your masonry walls.
How Do You Waterproof Mortar Joints?
Waterproofing mortar joints is an important step when working with bricks, tiles, and concrete.
To waterproof your mortar joints, first use a wire brush to scrub off any dirt or debris that may be stuck in the joints.
Next, apply a coat of masonry sealer to all of the joints before letting it dry for at least 24 hours.
Once the sealer is dry, you should apply a second coating of either silicone caulk or waterproofing membrane to further protect the joint from water intrusion.
Finally, add two coats of paint for extra protection against water damage and mildew growth.