Pointing refers to the process of filling in the gaps or joints between bricks or other masonry materials in a wall or structure. This process is also known as repointing. Pointing is important for maintaining the integrity of a property because it helps to keep the structure stable, weatherproof and prevent water infiltration.
Over time, the mortar between bricks can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements, which can cause the bricks to shift or even fall out. Proper pointing can help to keep the bricks in place and prevent structural damage, as well as preserving the aesthetic of the property.
Additionally, regular pointing maintenance can prolong the life of a property and prevent the need for more costly repairs down the line.
Pros and Cons of DIY Pointing
One of the main advantages of DIY pointing is cost savings. When you take on a pointing project yourself, you can save money on labor costs that would be incurred if you hired a professional to do the work for you. Additionally, by doing the project yourself, you have the flexibility to purchase the materials yourself rather than hiring a professional with a markup on materials.
Another advantage of DIY pointing is the satisfaction of completing the project yourself. Many people enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with taking on a home improvement project and successfully completing it. Doing the project yourself can also give you a sense of pride and ownership in your property, as well as the opportunity to learn new skills.
One of the main disadvantages of DIY pointing is the lack of expertise. Pointing is a specialized skill that requires knowledge of the right tools, techniques, and materials to use. Without the proper training or experience, it can be easy to make mistakes that can lead to structural damage or even safety hazards.
For example, if the pointing is not done correctly, it may not be able to withstand the weather and water infiltration may occur, leading to structural damage.
Another disadvantage of DIY pointing is the potential for mistakes. Even with the best intentions, it can be easy to make mistakes when working with masonry materials. This can include using the wrong type of mortar, applying it incorrectly, or not properly preparing the surface before applying the mortar. These mistakes can lead to a poor finish and can even cause the pointing to fail prematurely.
Safety hazards are another disadvantage of DIY pointing. Pointing work can involve working at height and using power tools, which can be dangerous if not handled properly. Additionally, working with cement-based products can be hazardous, and without proper safety equipment, you may inhale harmful dust, which can cause lung damage.
The Risks of DIY Pointing
If pointing work is not done correctly, it can lead to potential structural damage. Improperly applied pointing can allow water to penetrate the wall and cause damage to the structure.
For example, if the mortar is not properly mixed or the joint is not filled completely, water can seep through and cause damage to the bricks and the underlying structure. This can lead to the deterioration of the building’s structural integrity, which can be costly to repair.
Additionally, if the pointing is not done correctly, the bricks or other masonry materials may not be properly supported, which can cause them to shift or even fall out. This can lead to instability in the structure and can create a safety hazard.
Ending up hiring professionals anyway
Another disadvantage of DIY pointing is the possibility of needing to hire a professional to fix mistakes made during the project. This is because, as mentioned, pointing is a specialized skill that requires knowledge of the right tools, techniques, and materials to use. Without the proper training or experience, it can be easy to make mistakes that can lead to structural damage or a poor finish.
If mistakes are made during a DIY pointing project, it can be difficult or impossible to correct them without the help of a professional. This can result in additional costs and time spent on the project, as well as the inconvenience of having to schedule and coordinate with a professional to come and fix the mistakes.
In some cases, the mistakes can be significant and can require significant repairs, which can be more costly than hiring a professional in the first place. Furthermore, if the mistakes are not corrected, it can lead to more serious issues like water infiltration, structural damage and safety hazards, which can be costly and dangerous to fix.
In conclusion, pointing is an important aspect of maintaining the integrity of a property, but it is also a specialized skill that requires knowledge of the right tools, techniques, and materials to use. While DIY pointing may seem like an easy and cost-effective way to improve your property, it can be risky if you are not an expert.
The potential for mistakes, safety hazards, and structural damage can lead to more costly repairs, and even put your health in danger.
It is important to consider your skill level, knowledge, and experience before attempting a DIY pointing project. If you are unsure or lack the required expertise, it’s best to consult with a professional before proceeding with the project.
Hiring a professional pointer will give you the peace of mind that the work will be done correctly, safely, and efficiently, and that you won’t have to spend additional time and money fixing mistakes made during the project.