?'s - "Pointing Up" a brick wall, cracked lentil


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Old 11-28-03, 02:47 PM
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Question ?'s - "Pointing Up" a brick wall, cracked lentil

Hi everyone,

I'm considering buying a 1905 rowhome in Philadelphia. There is a leaky roof 10 feet above the kitchen window, seperated by part of the brick wall on the exterior of the house. There are several spaces in the mortar between the bricks, and the lentil surrounding the kitchen window is cracked in one spot. My inspector thinks that water from the leaky roof collected between the bricks, then froze and expanded, thus damaging the wall and cracking the lentil.

If all I need to do it point up the wall, great. If the damage is more severe and I have to have some of the bricks and the lentil replaced, how expensive could that get? Has anyone had experience with damage like this before? I am particularly concerned because I want to replace the kitchen window with something more efficient and modern, and my inspector told me that the weight of the sagging bricks could interfere with the window frame, essectially forcing me to replace several of them (and possibly much of the wall).

I have two pictures of the wall and lentil, which I'll try to attach. Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions!
 
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Old 11-28-03, 10:09 PM
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One person best qualified to evaluate your situation is a mason. Having a couple out to review and evaluate the situation can give you insight into what each expects to be done to resolve the problem along with expected costs.

Tuck-pointing can be expensive, especially when needing to determine the composition of the original mortar. Modern mortar mixes are much harder than what was used 60 or so years ago. Modern mortars will strain an existing wall built long ago causing it to fail. The mortar will need to be matched before starting work on the wall.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 11-29-03, 09:56 AM
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Chfite,

Thanks a lot for your reply. I have read that mortar used in repairing exterior brick walls does not dry properly in temperatures outside the range of 40F-95F. Is that correct?

This is what the damage looks like:

http://www.angelfire.com/bug/jeffmd/images.html

Thanks again!
 
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Old 11-29-03, 07:56 PM
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outside the range of 40F-95F.
That sounds about right.

The photos are informative. You can see where it has been repointed in the lower photo, but was repointed with a different mortar. It appears that the lintel is sagging in that photo, just as you alluded in your post.

Hope this helps.
 
 

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