The decision to repoint is most often related to some obvious
sign of deterioration, such as:
- disintegrating mortar,
- cracks in mortar joints,
- loose bricks or stones,
- damp walls, or
- damaged plasterwork.
It is, however, erroneous to assume that repointing alone will
solve deficiencies that result from other problems. The root
cause of the deterioration leaking roofs or gutters,
differential settlement of the building, capillary action causing
rising damp, or extreme weather exposure should always
be dealt with prior to beginning work. Without appropriate repairs
to eliminate the source of the problem, mortar deterioration will
continue and any repointing will have been a waste of time and
Use of Consultants
Because there are so many possible causes for deterioration
in historic buildings, it may be desirable to retain a consultant,
such as a historic architect or architectural conservator,
to analyze the building.
In addition to determining the most appropriate solutions to
the problems, a consultant can prepare specifications
which reflect the particular requirements of each job and can
provide oversight of the work in progress.
Referrals to preservation consultants frequently can be obtained
from State Historic Preservation Offices, the American Institute
for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), the Association
for Preservation Technology (APT), and local chapters of the American
Institute of Architects (AIA).