What is this exterior plinth and what to do with it?

8 Aug 2022
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United Kingdom
Hi guys, new poster. I'm a bit of a DIY 'have a go' kinda guy. So have started down the course of teaching myself how to repoint brickwork, but only really early stages of plugging out the poor stuff where the moisture had lifted exterior paint across mortar joins. Plan is to repaint the house after repairing.

The wall I've started with is the rear wall (with a door) of the garage which faces south. The paint peeling in places was/is the worst of the property, it's exposed to more wind and rain so the water damage here is the worst. Also huge benefit for me is it's hidden from view so I can practice and figure out what I'm doing, while getting the skills required to do a tidier job of the rest of the house. The property built in the 70's during a brick shortage, so half of it is 'builders bricks' and painted white. This is the area I'm working on. The upper (red) brickwork is in a better condition and will not need any attention.


Around this garage there is a mortar/render plinth that's cracked and was coming away at the corner. I've pulled it off but don't know if I should replace it? Turned up a bit of a blank to what it's actually called and the only 'reason' I can see it being there is to stop rain water splashing from the patio slabs onto the brick? The house itself has no such skirt - even the rear of the property which has patio all the way across, it just seems to be the garage.


Pulling it off the rear where I'm working I can see damp proofing DPM in the course which matched the top of the plinth, so it's not bridged. Although the course there the mortar is quite a bit more damp than the others, should I use some of that injectable damp proofing in there to combat/assist it? I've got 1 spalled brick, going to repoint what I've done to see how tidy I can get it before tackling a brick. If I can't do it well enough will get someone in to do it and give their expert advice. There will likely be a couple more bricks as I work my way around, so would be another good skill to learn. My re-pointing/plugging out is messy so far (I'll admit) - any experts offer an opinion if I should proceed, or stop before I cause any more damage!? ;)


Plan is to 'paint' with bitumen paint below this plinth -there's been something there before but it was shredded and cracked with air behind it so in a pretty poor state. Plan to go around and repair this by stripping it off, exposing the brick, repairing any really damaged bricks and then paint over the area to re-cover and re-protect it.
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