Re-pointing Stonework, fiddly bits

By Wendy the Other Half

While the scaffolding has been up the Stuff Doer has taken advantage and started replacing the cement pointing (ribbon pointing) on the front stonework. The pointing, although not in good shape and wasn’t on our priority list but cement mortar does the stone no good. Also working at height on a ladder on a very narrow street with no pavement is perhaps not considered best practice as far as the dreaded ‘elf and safety is concerned!

Many hours have been spent raking out the cement pointing and replaced with lime mortar (NHL3.5). It’s far from finished but the difficult scary high stuff is done. I’m sure the Stuff Doer will explain why cement is bad and lime better and fill in all the practical details when he’s time (ie not up a skinny scaffold with bucket and trowel)

ribbon pointing on soft sandstone

Before - Ribbon pointing on soft sandstone blocks, causing accelerated deterioration

 
re-pointing sandstone block wall

After : re-pointed sandstone wall useing lime based mortar

With the front re-pointed, the back re-rendered, windows repaired and a new roof plus guttering we should be water tight and drying out.
 
damage to stone by ribbon pointing

damage to stone by ribbon pointing

If anyone asks, Why we’re getting rid of the ribbon? or What’s wrong with ribbon pointing? Show them the above picture that illustrates how pointing with Ordinary Portland Cement accelerates the deterioration of the surrounding stone.  It also looks a bit naff.

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