crumbling brick mortar

Old 01-16-04, 05:01 PM
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crumbling brick mortar

My house is 18 years old. The mortar holding the bricks around the fireplace on the inside of lthe house is beginning to crumble. I don't see how this could be a moisture problem because its inside the house. The mortar is creating dust at a rapid rate.

What causes this to happen and what can I do about it beside re-point the mortar. Is there a sealant or chemical I could use?

It is also happening outside the house, but I attribute this to moisture.

Was the mortar mixed incorrectly? Whats the remedy?\

Old 01-16-04, 06:16 PM
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Crumbling mortar needs to be replaced. Outdoors or indoors, the repair would be much the same.

For a house no older than yours, there seems to be a problem. You might have a mason come out and take a look at both. A mason is about the only qualified person other than an engineer to evaluate and propose solutions.

Hope this helps.
Old 01-17-04, 04:24 PM
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I'd call a mason, calling an engineer for that is like asking a cheerleader why the offense stinks.
Old 01-26-04, 06:25 AM
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You have options

Masonry work can be a little obscure. Here's is a course of action you might consider:

Go to and put in a request for the type of work that you are interested in having done. Vendors will then respond to you and will sign up to come out and give you a quote. You'll learn a great deal from talking to these people about your problem and potential solutions. You actually don't have to use service magic you could call some vendors in your area. Service magic lists other customer reviews and give a little company history and insurance information, though.

You will likely have to have some tuck pointing done on your house. If you are handy you can probably do this yourself. I just had some tuckpointing done and paid for it. Once I observed what tuckpointing was I realized that I could easily have done it myself. Looking back though, I needed to see it done by a pro first and now I know.

Get some pro's out there and listen to what they have to say.

Good luck.
Old 01-28-04, 03:39 PM
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crumbling brick mortar

I can think of only two things that would cause the mortar to crumble. Too much sand in the mix or it was laid up while it was freezing. Take a 4" grinder w/ a diamond blade 3/8" thick, saw the joints 1/4" to 3/8' deep. Mix some mortar and using tuck pointer replace the mortar. The grinding is a dirty, nasty job w/ a lot of dust. Try to plastic off the work area inside the house. Wear a dust mask and safety glasses. good luck

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