Be Dri Repointing Services 

Does your property need repointing or an inspection? 

Whether you require a small area or the entire property to be repointed, make sure Be Dri is on the list of companies from whom you wish to obtain a quote. Please contact us now for a non-obligatory price or advice.

Tel: 01202 622581

Or Email Be Dri for a pointing quote.

Repointing the many styles and patterns of bricks in Bournemouth

As Victorian houses in Bournemouth get older they need repointing this because the mortar erodes and needs replacing this action stops your bricks from eroding or spalling if someone has used cement mortar in the past . We can remove the old mortar and repoint your house with new sand and lime mortar which will make your Bournemouth property like new again.

Replacing old sand and lime can be dirty job with the old material carried into the wind and into your home or over your neighbour’s property.

We use several methods to remove old mortar but our dustless extraction system collects 90% or more of the old material which is safely taken away leaving everyone happy. Example to remember is if 20 bags of sand with lime had to be put back in after extraction then 20 bags of old fine sand and lime had to come out.

Pointing Brick Houses by Be Dri based in Bournemouth

A house wall in the process of being repointed in BournemouthOur specialist material suppler will provide us with a choice of sand mixes which will offer you different colour choices to best suit you house and current brickwork.

  • High quality sand and lime mixes
  • Dustless Extraction System
  • Traditional lime putty mortars
  • Coloured mortars
  • Replacement brickwork
  • A high quality finish

All our work is cosmetically pleasing and that our workmanship will last for years to come. And we don’t leave a mess when we’re finished the work.

Repointing houses in Bournemouth is a skilled job and requires dedicated tradesman to complete the work to a high finish so if you need your home repointed in a traditional way then please call us today to arrange a visit from Be Dri contact us now

Poole and Dorset Herald 25th February 1858, pages 4 & 5

What is a Brick PDF document download.

The really good thing about sand and lime is just how breathable and flexible it is and when your property moves throughout the year it doesn’t crack or break bricks as it does so. Remember old houses have stepped foundations which are shallow so movement is different depending on the ground they are built on.

Because period bricks and limestone are so porous the original sand and lime was weaker than the masonry around it.

This would allow mortar joints to act as route for moisture to escape after the wall had become wet and would easily evaporate in dryer weather. If moisture cannot escape due to strong cement mortar blocking its route it will force its self out through the face of your bricks or stonework. This will cause them to erode or shatter during wet and freezing weather.

Today a lot of properties have had their original pointing replaced with a modern cement mix. Properties made of soft bricks or limestone is suffering because cement is so hard and waterproof it isn’t flexible or breathable and is causing unseen long term problems.


The type of sand should be a sharp coarse and not soft building sand as this does not mix and bind well with lime it’s to compacted. There are different types of sharp sand which can be used to produce different colours mixes.

Sharpe sand is made up of tiny shards with irregular edges that do not interlock and this leaves voids between the sand particles. This will give sand and lime its flexible breathable qualities. The more coarse sharp sand used in the mix the more flexibility for movement it has and wont crack the pointing later.

Too much fine sand in a house with movement will just crack the new mortar beds later on. That’s why bold builders liked quite a coarse mix with large particles in it to stop this happening.

Soil Types and Seasonal Movement

The type of ground your house is built on will determine its potential for movement.

Rock and chalk are the best type of sub soil to build a house on. Sand and gravel also have quite good load bearing properties when it has been compacted. Although in areas were properties are built on heathland on steep hills movement can be common. Flexible clay is the most common type of sub soil houses are built on and it’s very prone to seasonal changes. Clay dries out in the summer and shrinks and in the winter rain and frost will cause the ground to swell up again.

Sand and Lime Mixes

In recent building-site history, mixing mortar has become a job for the general labourer, despite often being unqualified and poorly skilled. And yet the mortar is, and has always been, utterly central to masonry construction. Inappropriate mixes mar the appearance of the best-built walls and often compromise the integrity and durability of a structure.

Lime mortars were the norm for centuries, and the secret of the perfect mix for any given situation was passed from father to son and from craftsman to apprentice over generations; the techniques also varied considerably across the country to suit the nature and performance of predominantly locally-sourced materials. There were few textbooks and no formal training. It was a matter of tradition and instinct supplemented by generations of experiment and sound experience.

This chain of knowledge was severely interrupted by the First World War and the near-universal adoption thereafter of stronger, faster-setting and consistent (but not always appropriate) cement-based mortars. To a large extent, today’s craftsmen have had to rebuild that knowledge base from scratch. But what if we have placed too much trust, and not enough understanding, in surviving texts, rather than analysing the sound evidence of centuries-old mortars?

Analysis of historic mortars reveals that the types of limes and sands and their mix ratios varied considerably. Richard Neve’s book The City and Country Purchaser and Builder’s Dictionary, which was published in 1762 (and in facsimile by David & Charles, 1969), illustrates this (see pp 198-199) with examples of varying mortar ratios used in and around London, often in different parts of the same building for the footings, inner and outer flank walls, and with the best reserved for the outer leaf of the facade. To a large degree, the type of lime and sand and the need to obtain a workable mix determined these ratios.

With the lime revival of the past 25 years (which for many years was primarily based on the use of pure, non-hydraulic lime prepared as a putty mixed with a well-graded aggregate) it is interesting to note that there has been an emphasis on the common use of a 1:3 lime: sand ratio based essentially on a measurement of the ‘voids by volume’ within a measure of dry sand. It is generally accepted that this measurement provides a good indication of the volume of lime binder required to ensure a coating of lime around every grain of sand, and technically it is quite correct.

The method used to measure the voids involves half-filling a graduated laboratory flask with an oven-dried sample of the specified sand, and then carefully pouring clean (potable) water into it from another identical graduated flask until all the voids are filled and the surface of the water rises level with the surface of the sand. The volume of water required to fill all the voids in this volume of sand can then be calculated by subtracting the volume of water left in the water flask from the volume it contained at the start, this being determined as the minimum volume of lime binder required for producing a good mortar. Typically this is found to be one-third of the original volume of the water and hence the ratio is determined as 1:3. But it is not correct to believe that this provides all the answers, and nor does it reflect the reasoning by which the 1:3 ratio was historically specified.

One Part Slaked Lime or One Part Quicklime?

It is vital to understand that, until the Second World War, a majority of limes were still prepared from freshly burnt quicklime delivered to site, as opposed to ready-to-use slaked putties, which would have been extremely heavy to transport, or bagged dry-hydrates. For general mortars the quicklime was then usually slaked to a crude powder (technically, a dry-hydrate) on site. One of the most popular methods to achieve this was to place a one-third measure of quicklime broken down to the size of nutmegs within a cubic yard of ringed sand, and then apply the minimum of water necessary to slake it, before quickly drawing the sand over it as it both heated and broke down in slaking. After slaking was completed the pile would be turned over dry to fully integrate the sand and lime. One option was then to add extra water to bring it to the working consistency of mortar ready for immediate use. Alternatively, the dry mix could then be thrown with the shovel through a large inclined 5mm (¼”) meshed screen to remove large inclusions before mixing it with water, thus producing a top-quality ‘front mortar’ that was generally reserved for facade masonry.

The important thing to note here is that the lime used in the ratio of 1:3 was not prepared slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) but unslaked quicklime (calcium oxide), a fundamentally different substance in several respects, including volume. This vital point has frequently been overlooked and has led to misinterpretation of a great many historical mortar mixes based on original documents recording mortar ratios, or on those recorded within old craft books. A simple but very good example of this is to be found in an architect’s private site book, for an entry dated 1927 on preparing lime mortar as follows: ‘Mortar: Lime 1, Sand 3. Lime: slack [slake] with water and then cover with sand. After lime is thoroughly slack it is screened through upright screen and then mix with water to desired consistency’.

The proportions used by this architect for mixing quicklime with sand would not apply to a mix made with hydrated lime (whether hydraulic or non-hydraulic) because all quicklime’s increase in volume when they are slaked. The amount of increase varies according to the type and class of lime but typically this is between 60 and 100 per cent. Therefore the resultant lime: sand ratio for the finished mortar is always more lime-rich than the originally-stated ratio. That is why, under analysis, the majority of historic lime mortars are not commonly found to be 1:3 but typically vary between 1:1½ and 1:2, just as the original mortar makers and craftsmen intended. This is borne out by extensive analysis carried out over many years by The Scottish Lime Centre Trust. (At the last count the organisation has analysed around 4,500 historic mortar samples, approximately 80 per cent of which were from Scotland, 10 per cent from England with the remaining 10 per cent from various other countries.) The average lime: sand ratio on the organisation’s entire database of historic mortar samples is around 1:1½.

The 1:3 quicklime: sand ratio suited most general building sands. However, sometimes builders had to use naturally fine and more uniform local sand, not the ideal well-graded building sand, but one that demands an increased lime

Be Dri Customer Service

Don’t be damp Be Dri call us today and let us help you with any of your damp proofing, woodworm treatments, wall tie replacement, repointing brickwork and wet and dry rot issues.

It’s free to call and costs nothing to ask your questions.

Brick Making History

The popularity of the material can be traced to the revival of brick making in eastern England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. This was a direct result of lack of local stone, an increasing shortage of good timber, and the influence of Europe where brick work was used extensively. By the Tudor period the brick makers and brick layers had emerged as separate craftsmen well able to rival the masons. From unsophisticated early work, brick building entered its heyday, rivalling stone in its popularity as a structural material.

Bricks were generally made on site in wood, heather or turf fired clamps by itinerant workers. Not only were standard bricks produced but also many in extravagant and elaborate shapes, epitomised by those that formed the spiral twisted chimney stacks for which the period is renown. The Tudors further patterned their brick work by inserting headers over burnt or vitrified bricks into the walling. These dark surfaces ranging from deep purple to slate in colour were laid carefully in quarter brick offsets in mainly English Bond or English Cross-Bond, to form a diaper or chequered pattern within the predominantly red brick work.

The Georgian Period 1714-1830

The late 17th and early 18th centuries were a high point in the use of brick. Their manufacture was much improved, with blended clay, better moulding and even more firing which lead to greater consistency in shape and size.

The colours of bricks changed in popularity from red, purple or grey bricks fashionable in the late 17th century until 1730, when brownish or pinkish grey stocks replaced the hot colours. These were followed in the mid 18th century by grey stocks, and by 1800, the production of yellow marl or malm London stocks, which were closer to the stone colour desired for a classical facade. Brick work was generally of a very high standard, in mainly Flemish bond although header bond was also popular in the early 18th century.

Victorian Brick Work 1837 – 1901

This was a period of revivalism in domestic architecture and industrial building. The former seeking a return to “medievalism” and other exotic building forms as a relief from the spirituality of the machine age. The latter, for the infrastructure of factories, warehouses, railway bridges and so on all largely met through the cheap use of bricks. During this period, a greater number of bricks were made and laid than during all the previous periods. Brick manufacturing methods had improved in all respects including quality accuracy, regularity and in range of colours available. From the mid 18th century onwards the manufacturing process, like many others, was becoming mechanised. This enabled deeper clays to be used for pressing into dense bricks for use on civil engineering works. And with improvements in travel and communications, bricks could be transported over wide areas which removed the traditional local variations.

Materials for Bricks

Clays for bricks should be composed of well-blended materials which will produce a good quality product. When lime, is sometimes added, and is not finely ground it will cause “lime blows”. This occurs when particles of burnt lime (quicklime) near the surface of the brick expand in contact with rainwater, blowing small and unsightly conical holes in the face of the wall.

Until 1800, Most Bricks Were Red from the Iron in the Clay used.

The colour of bricks depended on the type of clay used. Before the coming of the railways in Victorian times, bricks were mostly made of local clay.

Other colours included: bricks

Whitish brick were Gault clay south-east of England Brown bricks were from Thames valley. Silver-grey bricks – south Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. Dark brown – Yorkshire

Colour variation in old bricks also depended on the firing process and where the bricks were placed in the kiln. The bricks nearest the heat turned the darkest in colour and were selected to form patterns (diapers); those furthest from the heat were lighter in colour.


Why is the Top of a Brick Called a Frog?

In the 1930s the bricks were made by hand in slop moulds and the indent required a wooden former in the bottom of the mould box. This looked like a crouching frog and the name stuck despite its reference to the indent.

Why is Brick Red?

The fired colour of clay bricks is influenced by the chemical and mineral content of the raw materials, the firing temperature, and the atmosphere in the kiln. For example, pink coloured bricks are the result of high iron content, white or yellow bricks have higher lime content.

What is a Brick Made Of?

Brick is made from clay and shale – some of the most abundant materials on earth – and then fired in a kiln at up to 2,000° F. By going through a chemical-transforming, verification process in the kiln, the minerals in the clay/shale unit fuse together and become a material that looks great, lasts an incredibly long

Be Dri Customer Service

Don’t be damp Be Dri call us today and let us help you with any of your damp proofing, woodworm treatments, wall tie replacement, repointing brickwork and wet and dry rot issues.

It’s free to call and costs nothing to ask your questions.

Is your pointing 100% watertight? 100%

Repointing houses and brickwork why we do need it and why it is so important to get the repointing replacement mix right.

The pointing is the mortar around the brick and it comes in differentPointing a cottage in Dorchester Dorset colours and has different thickness called bed joints (Horizontal) and perpendicular joints (Vertical).

The mortar joints do several things one, mortar joints are the outer face of the mortar bed which binds together bricks / stone it holds your house together. Secondly, it’s the joints and beds that allow moisture to evaporate from the face of the wall instead of the face of the brick / stone which leads to spalling.

Repointed brickwork in DorsetRepointing is the process of renewing the pointing, which is the external part of mortar joints, in masonry construction. Over time, weathering and decay cause voids in the joints between masonry units, usually in bricks, allowing the undesirable entrance of water.

Water entering through these voids can cause significant damage through frost weathering and from salt dissolution and deposition. Repointing is also called pointing, or pointing up, although these terms more properly refer to the finishing step in new construction.

What Victorian and Edwardian properties have in common is that A Re pointed House in Parkstone Poole Dorset many people will condemn old lime mortar too quickly for being too soft or powdery because they compare it to a hard modern cement pointing. But sand and lime pointing is supposed to degrade over time it’s the sacrificial part of the wall.

The original viewpoint was that pointing should act as a channel soHouse Prior Pointing in Poole Dorset that moisture could evaporate out of the walls. Pointing was always going wash out over the next 50 – 100 years caused by weathering.

So it was better for the pointing to slowly erode and replace it decades later than bricks or stone which could not be easily replaced.

Repointed Gable Wall in Dorchester DorsetIt would be a mistake to think that repointing an old house constructed in brick or stone with a Pointing and brickwork repairs in Dorchester Dorsetstrong cement mortar will be better and last longer.What this actually does is to cause these materials to crumble on the face side of the brick or stone.

Incorrect Pointing Material

Pointed house in Southbourne Bournemouth DorsetWhen repairs started to be made in very hard cement becausHouse requires Re pointing in Southbourne Dorsete people didn’t understand old buildings problems started to appear, it has the effect of trapping moisture in the wall.

Mortar mixes should be slightly weaker than the surrounding material other wise spalling brick or stone work is a common site. Sand and lime is the appropriate material to replace old mortar.

Wall needs Re pointing due to cement mortar in Bournemouth DorsetSpalling is when moisture is trapped inside the wall because the hard cement pointing is keeping it there. To escape it forces its way through the next softest material which is your face brick or stone work and during times of hard frosts and freezing conditions blows the material apart.

Spalling or eroded bricks is a common sight today this is because House wall needs repointing in Bere Regis Dorset due to weathering and water erosionpeople do not understand the long term problems caused by replacing old sand and lime with dense cement mortar or Portland cement. To stop the mortar eroding inexperienced builders have started to replace the sand and lime with a product that doesn’t breath and isn’t flexible.

In the long run this cement replacement will cause excessive spalling, increase the cracking of bricks on your external walls and will trap damp in the walls which will cause other problems.

Re pointing houses in Bournemouth and Dorset to stop wall tie erosion

The main problem and a very serious consideration are by not being able to expel the trapped moisture and this will affect your wall ties. Which if you have a galvanised wall ties and most old Victorian early

Edwardian properties do then this will cause them to start rusting much faster under the brick, if they weren’t showing signs of wear after 100 years anyway.

Repointing Services

Half re pointed wall on a property in Bournemouth Dorset

At Bedri we can help undo any old damaged caused by using the wrong materials by inexperienced builders. We can also replace any pointing which is now showing wear and affecting the out brickwork.

We can offer you different sands and colours which when the house is cleaned down and the pointing finished will make your property look new again.

Be Dri Customer Service

Don’t be damp Be Dri call us today and let us help you with any of your damp proofing, woodworm treatments, wall tie replacement, repointing brickwork and wet and dry rot issues.

It’s free to call and costs nothing to ask your questions.

Be Dri can reduce dust and mess with a Dustless Extraction System

Our removal technique can remove the old mortar using our Dustless Extraction System. We can also replace any old damaged bricks with reclaimed period brick.

Our Dustless Extraction System will capture over 95 % of the dust which even on a small house can be over 18 bags 20kg with over 300kg of extracted loose material. That’s a lot of dust that won’t be all over your cars and neighbours property or drift back into your home if you are asthmatic

House Pointing Survey

If you feel that your house is suffering from erosion the process of eroding or being eroded by wind, water, or other natural agents. And your brickwork is looking extremely weathered and tired then you need an experienced surveyor.

That’s why you need some who works with Victorian and Edwardian houses because they are enthusiastic and passionate about the work they do. And the way that it should be carried out to preserve these period properties and their common faults.

Be Dri Customer Service

Don’t be damp Be Dri call us today and let us help you with any of your damp proofing, woodworm treatments, wall tie replacement, repointing brickwork and wet and dry rot issues.

It’s free to call and costs nothing to ask your questions.