Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: My ten-year-old house developed some cosmetic cracks in the mortar. I got some bids to have tuck-pointing work done and nearly gagged when I looked at the cost. I’m wondering about using a special caulk I found that’s made to repair mortar joints. It contains fine sand so it’s textured and the color […]

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Efflorescence can be removed using several methods. An efflorescence remover such as a dilute solution of muriatic acid can be used in severe cases, but extreme caution should be taken with this chemical. Also, it is important to never seal brick that is experiencing efflorescence. You may damage the brick's surface.

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Efflorescence, those ugly white stains on masonry, brick and stone are the result of water getting in and pulling the water soluble salt out of them. Masonry needs masonry sealers to stop efflorescence. The dirt around your retaining walls needs to be treated as well.

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Masonry structures are not waterproof. Water will pass through stone, block, brick and mortar. If improper installation of your masonry walls can't be easily repaired, you may be able to stop the leaks with high quality water repellents.

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Brick water repellents stop water infiltration into your brick and masonry walls. Coat them with a clear water repellent. Be sure your don't coat the brick with a film forming sealer that can cause damage to the brick itself.

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Reinforce Concrete Block TIPS: Mortar is strong in compression - weak in tension Concrete block needs steel reinforcement Concrete block should be attached to concrete footer A structural engineer should be involved in the design CLICK HERE for Tim's FREE & FUNNY Newsletter DEAR TIM: I'm building a new home and two concrete block piers […]

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DEAR TIM: I’ve just placed an offer to purchase a two-bedroom house. It’s an older building, probably close to seventy, or more, years old. After placing the offer, I then took a closer look around the exterior and noticed some cracks in the brick under the bay window. Is this a serious problem? Like many, […]

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DEAR TIM: After noticing some bubbled paint inside my home under a few windows, I did an inspection of the outside of my home and discovered holes in the mortar of my brick window sills. It’s obvious water is getting into the walls at these entry points. If I just caulk these will my water […]

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