Mixing mortar consists of mixing sand and masonry cement. The various ratios of each component affect the strength and hardness of the mortar. One issue that comes up in tuckpointing brick in older homes is that today's redi-mix mortar (just add water) is mixed to be stronger and harder than the brick used on older homes and that can cause a problem and brick damage. Older homes usually had a lower percentage of cement. For smaller tuckpointing repairs this is less of an issue, but if you have a larger multiple brick repair on an old home, you may want to consult a masonry supply house for a proper mortar mixture.
- Mix a small amount of mortar at one time using clean drinkable water.
- Mix with a liquid latex binder to improve adhesion and reduce cracking and shrinking.
- Mix the mortar to a consistency like pudding, where you can slice a piece off with your trowel.