"I have an 1890's building with plaster walls probably from the 1920's or before. The plaster was installed for wallpaper since it has a rather rough texture. In one room, a skim coat of finish plaster had been put over the top of this original plaster (date unknown) and has developed several cracks both along cracks in the original plaster..."
I read with great interest your recent article on lime mortar. I am currently beginning brick restoration on a 1794 Georgian house using soft brick in a Flemish bond pattern. The whole house needs to be repointed. One chimney will be removed and repaired with new hand-made brick. Are there any hand-made brick suppliers? I am also having difficulty locating the soft Type “O” mortar mix. — Steve Hudock, Prospect Hill Bed & Breakfast, Gerrardstown, West Virginia
One of the following companies may be able to make brick to meet your needs:
Old Carolina Brick Company
475 Majolica Rd., Dept. HHW
Salisbury, NC 28147
Bend Industries, Inc.
11412 W. Brown Deer Rd., Dept. HHW
Milwaukee, WI 53224
1166 Spring St., Dept. HHW
Wyomissing, PA 19610
You will have to mix your own Type “O” mortar from the basic ingredients: cement, hydrated lime and sand which are readily available at most masonry suppliers.
As you prepare your brick walls for repointing be sure to rake the old mortar out of the joints to a depth that is 2 to 3 times the width of the mortar joint. Wash the joints out with water to clean them and to dampen the masonry so water is not drawn out of the new mortar before it has a chance to cure properly. For more details on repointing read Mark London’s book, “Masonry”, published by The Preservation Press in 1988.
John Leeke is a preservation consultant who helps homeowners, contractors and architects understand and maintain their historic buildings. You can contact him at 26 Higgins St., Portland, Maine, 04103; or by E-mail: johnleeke@HistoricHomeWorks.com; or log onto his website at: www.HistoricHomeWorks.com
© John Leeke