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Old 01-19-2011, 08:18 AM   #1
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"Sandy" mortar on tuck-point repair


I live in Charlotte, NC and have a 4 year old home on crawlspace with a curtain wall / pillar type of foundation. I had some major foundation issues that were repaired (via helical coils) and the last step of the repair was to fix the cracks in the brick/mortar in the curtain wall.

The brick mason came out and repaired the cracks early last month 12/7/10. He rebuilt a small section of the curtain wall (3' x 3'), but most of the work was repairing mortar cracks. The mortar cracks he ground out to about 1/2" deep and then tuck-pointed them.

The temperatures during the day were hovering in the mid 30's and it was below freezing at night. I asked him about the cold temperatures and he didn't think it would be a problem for this type of repair. He used a small heater when working on the small section of rebuilt wall, but not when working on the mortar cracks.

So it's been over a month since the repair was completed and I am concerned with the mortar. The mortar is hard when I push on it with a knife. However, if I take my finger and rub over the mortar, sand comes off (not chunks, just grains). If I rub the old mortar, no sand comes off.

Is this normal?

I showed the brick mason and he didn't think it was a problem since the mortar was hard and not broken. He did offered to come back in March to re-evaluate (when the weather is warmer) and fix whatever needed it.


Last edited by drm31078; 01-19-2011 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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"Sandy" mortar on tuck-point repair


sounds as if the mortar froze to me anti-hydro added to the mix would have been a great help ! IF you can push a knife into it, its not hard ! { no financial interest in anti-hydro nor do i know IF they're still in biz ! }

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Old 01-19-2011, 03:06 PM   #3
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"Sandy" mortar on tuck-point repair


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sounds as if the mortar froze to me anti-hydro added to the mix would have been a great help ! IF you can push a knife into it, its not hard ! { no financial interest in anti-hydro nor do i know IF they're still in biz ! }
I cannot push a knife through it. It is hard. My concern is when I rub the mortar with my finger, sand grains comes off. But it is most definitely hard.

My question is whether or not the sand grains coming off is normal? or is it a problem, even though it's hard?
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:17 PM   #4
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"Sandy" mortar on tuck-point repair


depends on how deep you can rub your finger,,, some is normal due to raking a pointed jnt,,, question is more how 1 defines ' some '
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
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"Sandy" mortar on tuck-point repair


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depends on how deep you can rub your finger,,, some is normal due to raking a pointed jnt,,, question is more how 1 defines ' some '
On some of the joints it seems like I could rub the joint completely out with my finger but I haven't tried. Some of the joints are "worse" than others. Does it matter as long as the mortar is hard? Would cold weather cause this?
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #6
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"Sandy" mortar on tuck-point repair


another reason to think frozen mortar,,, cold weather wouldn't be the cause of cured mortar weakening however freezing temps on fresh mortar is definitely a cause for concern to me
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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"Sandy" mortar on tuck-point repair


Time to fully cure depends on the type of mortar and the temp + humidity in the area of the application i.e., Type N mortar in warm temps takes ~ 28 days to cure according to Quikrete. Your conditions suggest that the mortar had not as of yet fully cured.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
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"Sandy" mortar on tuck-point repair


What does this have to do with doing it yourself?

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