How Does Repointing Brick Prevent Water Damage and Leaks?

Brick structures have a timeless and enduring appeal, but the mortar that holds the bricks together can deteriorate over time, leading to water damage and leaks. If you own a brick building, it’s essential to understand how repointing brick can prevent these issues and preserve the integrity of your structure. This article explores the ins and outs of repointing brick, covering everything from its definition to the cost and how it safeguards your property from water damage and leaks.

What is Repointing Brick?

Repointing brick, also known as pointing or tuckpointing, renews the external part of mortar joints in brick masonry. This maintenance technique involves removing and replacing damaged or deteriorated mortar with fresh, high-quality mortar. Repointing not only enhances the appearance of brickwork but also serves a crucial structural function by ensuring the stability and longevity of the building.

Things to Consider in Repointing Brick

When it comes to repointing brick in the context of water damage and leaks, there are several crucial factors to consider. When water damage and leaks are involved, the stakes are even higher. Here are some key considerations:

1. Identify the Source of Water Damage

Before you start repointing, it’s vital to identify the source of the water damage or leak. Is it due to a damaged roof, faulty gutters, a cracked foundation, or something else? Fixing the root cause is as important as repointing the bricks themselves to prevent future issues.

2. Choose the Right Mortar Mix

Selecting the appropriate mortar mix is crucial. The mortar should match the original in composition, color, and texture. This ensures structural stability and aesthetic consistency. If you’re dealing with water issues, consider using a waterproof mortar mix to enhance water resistance.

3. Assess the Severity of Damage

Determine the extent of damage to the existing mortar joints and bricks. Minor damage may only require repointing, while more extensive damage might necessitate brick replacement. Assessing the severity of the damage will guide your repair strategy.

4. Prevent Future Water Intrusion

When repointing, pay special attention to the proper slope and design of the mortar joints. Ensure they shed water away from the building rather than directing it inward. This helps prevent future water intrusion and leaks.

5. Weather Considerations

Weather conditions can affect the curing process of mortar. Avoid repointing in extreme heat or cold, as this can impact the quality of the repair. Ideally, choose mild, dry weather for the repointing project.

By addressing the source of water damage, using the right materials and techniques, you can ensure a successful repointing project that protects your structure from future water-related issues.

Cost of Repointing Brick

The cost of repointing brick can vary widely, and it’s essential to consider several factors when estimating the expenses involved. Here’s a breakdown of the critical cost considerations:

  • Labor Costs: Labor costs can vary depending on the region, the project’s complexity, and the professionals’ expertise. Labor costs can range from $20 to $40 per square foot of repointing work.
  • Materials: The quality of mortar materials used in the repointing process is crucial for the success and longevity of the repair. Investing in high-quality mortar is essential to ensure the integrity of the brickwork. Mortar costs can vary based on the type and brand chosen. Mortar materials can range from $5 to $10 per square foot of repointing work.
  • Project Size and Complexity: The size and complexity of the repointing project directly impact the overall cost. More significant buildings with extensive brickwork will naturally cost more to repoint than smaller structures. The project’s complexity, such as intricate brick patterns or hard-to-reach areas, can add to the labor and material expenses. As a rough estimate, repointing a single-family home with moderate deterioration might cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000, while repointing a multi-story commercial building can range from $15,000 to $30,000 or more.

When planning a repointing project, obtaining quotes from reputable masonry professionals or contractors in your area is advisable. They can provide a more accurate assessment of the specific costs associated with your project, taking into account all relevant details. While repointing brick may require an initial investment, it is a crucial step in preserving the structural integrity of your building and preventing costly water damage in the long run.

How Does Repointing Brick Prevent Water Damage and Leaks?

Repointing brick is a crucial maintenance task that helps prevent water damage and leaks in masonry structures. Over time, the mortar between bricks can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements, which can create gaps and cracks. These gaps allow water to seep into the walls, leading to moisture-related issues like mold growth, erosion of the bricks, and structural damage.

By repointing, or replacing the deteriorated mortar, the gaps are sealed, forming a watertight barrier. This not only enhances the structural integrity of the brickwork but also prevents water from infiltrating and causing potential damage, ultimately preserving the longevity and appearance of the building.

Does Repointing Brick Prevent Water Damage and Leaks?

Repointing brick can be an effective measure to help prevent water damage and leaks, but it’s not a guaranteed solution on its own. The primary purpose of repointing is to renew the mortar joints between bricks, which can deteriorate over time due to weather exposure. When these joints weaken, they become susceptible to water infiltration. Repointing involves replacing the old, deteriorated mortar with new, weather-resistant mortar, enhancing the structure’s ability to repel water.

However, it’s essential to consider that repointing alone may not address the root causes of water damage, such as roofing issues, faulty gutters, or cracks in the building’s foundation. To comprehensively prevent water damage and leaks, it’s crucial to identify and fix these underlying problems in conjunction with repointing brick.


Repointing brick is more than just a cosmetic enhancement; it’s a critical measure to prevent water damage and leaks that can compromise the integrity of your brick structure. By assessing the condition of your mortar, choosing suitable materials, and investing in the repointing process, you can safeguard your building for years to come.

Don’t wait until water damage becomes a costly problem—act now to preserve your brickwork and ensure its longevity. If you suspect your brickwork needs repointing, consider seeking professional assistance to assess and address the issue promptly.