MortarMend's Endorsement From Sharp & Howells Pty. Ltd.

As a company, Sharp and Howells Pty. Ltd. has been involved in the testing and analysis of brickwork mortar for over 50 years, and has been involved with the processes of rectification where mortar is found to be substandard or non-compliant with minimum code requirements.

The increase in problems and claims made against faulty workmanship has skyrocketed in the last 5 to 10 years and it is accepted as a major problem in the building industry.

As background, Sharp and Howells Pty. Ltd. is NATA Accredited Laboratory No. 61 and the longest serving privately owned chemical testing facility in Australia.

During that time we have examined a range of products and techniques which can be used to rectify faulty mortar, including Rake and Repoint, complete pull down and rebuild, and in more recent times, the use of a variety of products such as Acrylics, Epoxies and Silicates that can be applied to the brickwork/mortar surface.

The option of pulling down a home and starting again is the worst case scenario unless the mortar is so weak and the brickwork so faulty that it has no structural integrity and may be at potential risk of collapse.

It is also the most expensive, time consuming, difficult and problematic method of rectification, and usually leads to more problems than it solves.

Where the mortar and brickwork is non compliant to a relatively minor degree, the Rake and Repoint or Surface Treatment techniques are of course available and applicable.

In recent times we have identified problems with the Rake and Repoint technique when it is not done professionally by a licensed and experienced operator, such as the generation of large levels of dust and gritty which has been identified as potential carcinogens (cancer agents). The cost of Rake and Repoint can be high.

We have also examined the performance of several surface treatment products with mixed success.

However, one of the products we have examined is Mortarmend P1000 with particular respect on its effect on low strength mortar.

Low strength mortar is subject to surface erosion and severe cavity erosion during high pressure acid washing as well as cracking, debonding, poor appearance and lack of weather and vermin resistance.

We have seen examples where the mortar has been eroded to almost the full depth of the brickwork over time.

Application of the Mortarmend product has been found to significantly increase the abrasion resistance of weak mortar.

Testing conducted within our laboratory has shown significant improvements after the application of Mortarmend, and this has been confirmed by practical applications on several building sites.

When applied correctly, the Mortarmend product penetrates the mortar bed to provide increased physical strength which results in increased water resistance, impermeability and reduced deterioration and/or erosion.

The application of Mortarmend is straight forward and the product is non toxic although must be handled with due care and attention due to its alkalinity.

The product forms complex silicates in-situ, particularly bonding with free Lime in the Cement or Lime components of the mortar to mimic the behaviour of Hydrating Cement which can form very strong bonds.

Mortarmend also helps to reduce porosity and permeability issues caused by weak mortars, and reverses the effects of strong high pressure acid washes which are commonly used today.

These washes can be so aggressive that the mortar can be either “blown away” or severely affected, continuing to lose its alkalinity rapidly with time as acid residuals migrate into the mortar matrix during wet/dry cycles.

Overall, we thoroughly recommend the use of Mortarmend in appropriate applications for the rectification of weak mortar.