Having spent a fair amount of time over the last few years staring at a wall with trowel in hand pointing I’ve built up some opinions on mortar, pointing and stonework and how the three should mesh together (tragic I know!). I’m no fan of overly fussy, decorative pointing and neither is my new favorite source of heritage building information – the Maintenance Matters webite:
In contrast, there is little historic precedent for the use of ‘ribbon’
pointing, which is so commonly seen nowadays in cement. In this, the
joints stand proud of the wall face to become the dominant visual
feature. It is both ugly and poor practice as the technique slows down
the run off of rainwater, which can increase the amount of moisture
held in the masonry. The cycle of freezing and thawing, and the
movement of dissolved salts can cause rapid erosion, particularly in
soft brick and stone.
Repointing in Lime @ maintenancematterswales.org
‘It is both ugly and poor practice’ – I love that statement and thoroughly agree – ugly!