Georgian Brick Facade restored to former glory

2 storey protected red brick town house on Dublin’s Historic Pears Square

  • Gently cleaned bricks using low pressure steam
  • Raddle coated bricks
  • Raked out all mortar joints
  • Re-pointed facade in lime mortar in traditional Bastard Tuck pointing
  • Minor repairs to bricks
  • Reinstated window reveals to original featheredge

Repointing Using Lime Mortar

A little about the lime pointing process. Once we have cleaned the bricks and exposed the substrate we can start the restoration process. Re-pointing is the process of renewing the pointing in masonry construction. Over time, weathering and decay cause voids in the joints between bricks, allowing the undesirable entrance of water. Water entering through these voids cause significant damage.

It is essential the mortar used for re-pointing have similar performance characteristics to the original mortar used. To conserve the integrity of the building it is essential to also employ the same pointing techniques and mixes used when the façade was originally built. The different pointing techniques visible on historic buildings reflect skills and craftsmanship developed over many centuries.

Bastard tuck pointing

‘Bastard tuck pointing’ describes a variation whereby the protruding ribbon is formed of the same material as the base mortar (‘stopping’). This creates a fragile finish that is uncommon but may be found on buff-coloured brickwork with a matching neutral mortar.

Confusingly, the term ‘tuck pointing’ has sometimes been applied outside the UK to describe raised joint finishes generally or all forms of repointing.

Conservation specialists

Both the mortar and the joints’ surface finish affect the brickwork in several ways. The colour and tone of the mortar lightens or darkens the overall brick facade. How joints are profiled affects how light is caught and reflected on the building. Historically, when bricks were hand made and less uniform, different pointing techniques were used to give the illusion of uniformity.

During restoration, pointing is raked out to twice the width of the joint. All repointing is carried out using traditional methods using lime mortar which allows the building to breathe. Replacement bricks are sourced from salvage yards to get as close a match as possible, taking into account age and colour.

Damaged, delaminated bricks and docrative mortar features are repaired by our master craftsmen using St Astier lime mortar

Heritage Contractors

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