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Repointing external brickwork

We asked Which? Local recommended building expert James P Spencer for their advice on repointing external brickwork.

Member question: I'm looking for someone to repoint my external brickwork. Should I approach a builder or a bricklayer? Do I have to wait until the water damage on internal walls has dried out before having it done?

Advice on repointing from James P Spencer

It would be beneficial to have any repointing done before any internal walls dry out, so there's no need to wait. The need for repointing may well be contributing to the interal damp, though a full inspection would confirm this. Most good building contractors should be able to carry out the work - look for a firm that has experience in this area. 

Repointing - what you need to know

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  • For repointing to be done properly, it needs grinding to a suitable depth first. 
  • Working from the top down saves dust going over work already completed. 
  • When the joints have been raked out ready to point, they need brushing over to remove any dust.
  • A light spray of water with a garden sprayer over the joints to be pointed aids adhesion of the new mortar. The repointing mortar needs to harden slightly before pointing to the desired finish. If pointed too soon, the mortar can stain the bricks themselves.
  • Repointing guns that cost about £20 ensure complete filling of the joints and speed up the process. 

Our Expert James Spencer

Founded in 2004, James P Spencer Ltd offers building and ladscaping services for consumers in the Nottingham area. 

James kindly takes time out of his busy schedule to regularly assist Which? members with all manner of questions in the Which? Local forums.