Fretting Mortar And How To Fix It

Fretting Mortar And How To Fix It: Rezzi

Share this Post

Fretting mortar is a common problem for brick and stone homes, especially in homes built up until the late seventies. Essentially it’s where the mortar between brickwork begins to ‘fret’ or fall away. If you spot it early there’s a good chance you can escape any major structural damage and a potentially large repair bill.

What causes it?

Fretting mortar is caused when cement joints become damp or where a badly mixed batch of mortar was used during construction. This can happen in a number of ways including:

  • exposure to the elements,
  • reticulation or pool water spraying on the brickwork,
  • incorrect mixing of mortar at the time of the build.


How to spot it

Fretting mortar is pretty easy to spot. When you’re inspecting your external brickwork have a look at the cement joints. If you see any crumbling or powdery mortar it’s a good indication that your brickwork is fretting. In its advanced stages, the mortar will be almost completely missing. At that point, the rows of bricks may begin to collapse onto the bricks below. Be prepared for an expensive repair job if it gets to that stage.


Fretting Brick: Rezzi

How to fix it

There’s only one way to fix the problem and that’s to replace the mortar (also called re-pointing). Re-pointing is the best way to ensure the structural integrity of your home and to make sure fretting mortar isn’t an ongoing problem. Re-pointing is done by cutting or vacuuming out the fretted joints and replacing them with a correctly mixed mortar. It’s usually a simple, straightforward job that can be completed by a competent bricky.

While there may be just one way to fix fretting mortar there are a few ways you can stop it from becoming an issue in the first place.

–  Perform regular checks and maintenance of brickwork.

–  Apply a sealer. If you know an area of brickwork will be exposed to the elements or damp conditions, apply a sealer from the outset. Brick sealers provide a waterproofing layer that inhibits erosion and damage.

Next time you’re outside have a look at your external brickwork and check for signs of fretting mortar. A simple once over now could save you some money in the long run.

If you’re looking for professional assistance with property conveyancing in Perth or buyers agent services, we’re here to help. Request a quote or give us a call at the following number: 1300 001 358.
Our experienced team is ready to guide you through the process and provide you with the support you need for a successful outcome.

Peter Fletcher

Meet Peter Fletcher, a real estate expert with over 30 years of experience. As the Managing Director at Rezzi, Peter is a licensed settlement agent and real estate agent. His knowledge and expertise have been recognized in the industry, serving as a councillor and trainer for REIWA and AICWA. With Peter on your side, expect expert guidance and unwavering support throughout your property journey.