Brick Wall Problem

11 Dec 2008
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United Kingdom
I recently had my driveway block paved and a small brick wall replaced back in November. The brick wall is 5 bricks high and runs along one side of the driveway.

A day after the wall was laid 2 bricks at the end came loose so I lifted them off (The company who did the work, promised to return to refix these bricks before Xmas but they haven't done this yet!).

Over the last 4 weeks the cement between the bricks in the wall, in certain places, has been falling out onto the driveway and looks as if it's flaking away. It now looks very rough and bumpy around the bricks.

Can anyone tell me why the cement might be doing this?
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It was fairly mild when built but the last few weeks have been very cold with snow and ice etc....
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Thank you very much for your help............just got to try and get the builder back now, he not at all there any way of rectifying this without the wall having to be taken down?
Difficult to say without seeing it. Builder will probably try and get away with patch pointing it.
Humm! Sounds as if either the cement got missed out or the mortar mix was not mixed properly - a bit like making a cake get the mix wrong and the whole lot fails, if you get my drift!

Solution - rake out the joints to a depth of around 18 -25mm, wash out with clean water, leave to dry off and repoint at your leisure - you can obtain a manual raking tool and pointing tool from your local DIY store, or if money is not too much of a thing you can hire or buy a special raking tool (not sure but someone like HSS hire possibly have a piece of kit! 18-25mm (3/4" - 1") gives enough depth to protect the pointing from frost attack You may want to repoint the whole of the face side of the wall as it is very unlikely that you will be able to match the existing mortar.

To finish off - the cheap option - you will need a mix of 1 part of cement to 6 parts of sand so get a small bag of cement and enough sand to make up the mix or you could get a ready mixed bag/s from your local DIY store, the latter possibly being the easiest solution as you are guaranteed that each batch has been through a quality assurance scheme and colour variations between bags should not be too different. The more costly route - there used to be a system called Easipoint, which used to be available at your local B&? and builders merchants - you had to buy a special applicator gun (bit like an oversized mastic gun) and a special sand cement mix which had to be used - great results but more costly than the previous option.

I hope things turn out in your favour, whatever route you take!
Is the mortar powdery - can it be raked out with a finger or key?

It's no good repointing if the mortar is generally crapp

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