Technical insights

Fair faced walls: the mortar

The main function of mortar in brick walls is to bond the elements together, to spread the load over the entire surface of the joints and to ensure continuity of the performance characteristics, in particular the hold.

Fair faced walls: the mortar

The main function of mortar in brick walls is to bond the elements together, to spread the load over the entire surface of the joints and to ensure continuity of the performance characteristics, in particular the hold.

Bricks and the elements that make up the “fair faced” wall, ennoble common masonry brick . The “fair faced” technique is intended to enhance the look of bricks due to the varied range of colours, types of surface finishes, laying method, dimensions, etc. Fair faced elements can be used for the construction of external and internal walls, complex architecture, quality details, urban decor, and anything else to complete façades. The bricks used can be divided up into extruded, solid or hollow bricks; soft moulded with hand-made or machine production; dry pressed, medium-dry or damp; hand-made; natural, as with natural stones and marble.

The history of building from ancient to modern, is dotted with examples of art and buildings where bricks are the fundamental and essential element.

To highlight and differentiate best the effect and style of fair faced brick walls, the masonry mortar plays an important role.
Fair faced walls: the mortar

The ready-to-use mortar is specific for “fair faced” substrates, allowing you to obtain optimum results from an aesthetic point of view: continuity of colour, selected grading curve, high mechanical strength and consistent quality, are some of the main aspects of this ready to use mortar.

Produced using a meticulous choice of raw materials, thanks to a thorough technical research, to offer the best product for the job.

When laying fair faced bricks the thickness of the vertical and horizontal joints as well as the alignment must be as homogeneous as possible. There are two feasible techniques for finishing joints: compacting and pointing. The first job is to lay the bricks and whilst the mortar is still fresh, go over with a suitably shaped tool, carefully smoothing and compacting the joints between the bricks.

Pointing instead is done on the joints where the bedding mortar is seasoned, old, inconsistent or degraded. The first step of pointing is a flush finish by scratching away, removing and cleaning the existing mortar in the joints. Then proceed with filling the joints with the facing brick masonry mortar using the correct hand tool.

Premixed mortars can be made by adding pigments and coloured soil. This allows you to create coloured grout, with shades that are contrasting or similar to the colour of the bricks, creating unique colour effects and adding a further aesthetic touch.

Fair faced walls: the mortar

The presence of water in liquid or vapour form in masonry is one of the main causes of degradation and is found in both historic and new buildings. An excess of moisture causes chemical and physical alterations in the materials and affects the duration of both the appearance and the resistance. An increasing of relative humidity can determine the presence of soluble salts in the walls that are not exposed to sunlight, efflorescence, damp and mould patches.

Brick efflorescence occurs with salt deposits in the form of crystals that are usually whitish when water evaporates. It forms on the surface and alters the appearance of fair face brick walls. To contrast this formation specific hydrophobic mass is used in facing brink masonry mortar to prevent rainwater from infiltrating the joints. The use of this component does not alter the technical characteristics of the mortar, but improves the performance whilst maintaining an excellent permeability to water vapour diffusion.

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