Frequently Asked Questions
about Mortar Analysis & Matching:
Question: What do I learn from having my mortar analyzed?
Answer: Depending on the level of detail you require, you learn:
Your mortar's original composition.
The ratio of binder (usually, but not limited to, lime and/or cement) to aggregate (usually, but not limited to, sand).
The sand's characteristics:
- Particle Size Distribution
- Void Ratio (Space Between Particles of Sand)
The physical properties of the mortar.
Compressive strength (hardness).
Water vapor permeability (how water vapor moves through mortar).
Question: Should I have mortar analyzed before the wall is repointed or repaired?
Answer: Not always. Considering the original mortar's age and the environmental conditions it has been exposed to, if it has not performed well there is no reason to replicate it. On the other hand, if the original mortar has performed well over time, there may be no reason to change it and a professional mortar analysis may be a good idea. However, the answers to the above statements are complex and should be discussed with an experienced professional who has a sound understanding of historic masonry materials science. Contact us for help.
Question: How much does it cost to have my mortar analyzed and/or professionally matched?
Answer: It depends on the level of detail you feel is necessary and how sophisticated an analysis you desire. Contact us for more information.