Jointing is the word used to describe the finish of the mortar joints between bricks, to provide a neat joint in brickwork that is finished fairface. Fairface describes the finished face of brickwork that will not be subsequently covered with plaster, rendering or other finish.
Most fairface brickwork joints are finished, as the brickwork is raised, in the form of a flush or bucket handle joint. When the mortar has gone off, that is hardened sufficiently, the joint is made. Flush joints are generally made as a ‘bagged’ or a ‘bagged in’joint. The joint is made by rubbing coarse sacking or a brush across the face of the brickwork to rub away all protruding mortar and leaving a flush joint. This type of joint, illustrated in Fig. 65, can most effectively be used on brickwork where the bricks are uniform in shape and com¬paratively smooth faced, where the mortar will not spread over the face of the brickwork.
A bucket handle joint is made by running the top face of a metal bucket handle or the handle of a spoon along the joint to form a concave, slightly recessed joint, illustrated in Fig. 65. The advantage of the bucket handle joint is that the operation compacts the mortar into the joint and improves weather resistance to some extent. A bucket handle joint may be formed by a jointing tool with or without a wheel attachment to facilitate running the tool along uniformly deep joints.
Flush and bucket handle joints are mainly used for jointing as the brickwork is raised.
The struck and recessed joints shown in Fig. 65 are more laborious to make and therefore considerably more expensive. The struck joint is made with a pointing trowel that is run along the joint either along the edges of uniformly shaped bricks or along a wood straight edge, where the bricks are irregular in shape or coarse textured, to form the splayed back joint. The recessed joint is similarly formed with a tool shaped for the purpose, with such filling of the joint as may be necessary to complete the joint.
Of the joints described the struck joint is mainly used for pointing the joints in old brickwork and the recessed joint to emphasise the profile, colour and textures of bricks for appearance sake to both new and old brickwork.
The words jointing and pointing are commonly loosely used. Jointing is the operation of finishing off a mortar joint as the brickwork is raised, whereas pointing is the operation of filling the joint with a specially selected material for the sake of appearance or as weather protection to old lime mortar.
Pointing is the operation of filling mortar joints with a mortar selected for colour and texture to either new brickwork or to old brickwork. The mortar for pointing is a special mix of lime, cement and sand or stone dust chosen to produce a particular effect of colour and texture. The overall appearance of a fairface brick wall can be dramatically altered by the selection of mortar for pointing. The finished colour of the mortar can be affected through the selection of a particular sand or stone dust, the use of pigmented cement, the addition of a pigment and the proportion of the mix of materials.
The joints in new brickwork are raked out about 20 mm deep when the mortar has gone off sufficiently and before it has set hard and the joints are pointed as scaffolding is struck, that is taken down.
The mortar joints in old brickwork that was laid in lime mortar may in time crumble and be worn away by the action of wind and rain. To protect the lime mortar behind the face of the joints it is good practice to rake out the perished jointing or pointing and point or repoint all joints. The joints are raked out to a depth of about 20 mm and pointed with a mortar mix of cement, lime and sand that has roughly the same density as the brickwork. The operation of raking out joints is laborious and messy and the job of filling the joints with mortar for pointing is time consuming so that the cost of pointing old work is expensive.
Pointing or repointing old brickwork is carried out both as protection for the old lime mortar to improve weather resistance and also for appearance sake to improve the look of a wall.