Surface Grouting is sometimes suggested as an alternative to
repointing brick buildings, in particular. This process involves
the application of a thin coat of cement-based grout to the mortar
joints and the mortar/brick interface.
To be effective, the grout must extend slightly onto the face
of the masonry units, thus widening the joint visually. The change
in the joint appearance can alter the historic character of the
structure to an unacceptable degree.
In addition, although masking of the bricks is intended to keep
the grout off the remainder of the face of the bricks, some level
of residue, called "veiling," will inevitably
remain. Surface grouting cannot substitute for the more extensive
work of repointing, and it is not a recommended treatment for