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Property Surveying Blog

January 2, 2016

Method To The Mortar

Written by Beau Davies

As Party Wall Surveyors we are often asked a variety of questions, this week we were asked about defective mortar and we thought it would be a good subject to write a short blog on,

Mortar is most commonly seen between brickwork or blockwork; it is used for a number of different reasons, first and foremost it helps solidify the structure, it helps in distributing the structural load through the wall and finally helps seal the wall against water ingress.

These days you will find that a typical mortar mix consists of sand and cement and water. When mixed together and left to dry, the mix hardens and the bricks or blocks are then held firmly in place.

Historically, prior to cement playing a role in a mortar mix, the mix was commonly lime and sand. Over time and as we learnt more about construction techniques, it became apparent that adding cement in place of the lime gave much better adhesion to bricks, while also meaning the mix was far better at copping with movement and thermal moisture.

It is for these reasons that modern buildings tend to be constructed with a common mortar mix and in our experience is the preferred mix for most bricklayers and contractors.

The make up of the mix will depend on a number of factors, for example in some cases a weaker mortar mix with less cement is often more flexible and is therefore far better at coping with the stress endured from movement. This form of mortar is therefore favoured in areas of movement or temporary making good work.

Like any area of construction, this just goes to show how you should always employ an experienced and qualified contractor on your job.

If you have a question you would like us to answer why not email or call one of our Chartered Surveyors now, we are always happy to help and as a company we pride our self in offering 35 minutes fee advice to all new callers.