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8 Different Types of Pointing in Construction

Types of pointing

The construction business has several terms that only an on-site expert or an engineer could understand. One such word is “Pointing,” associated with brickwork, a masonry produced by mortar and bricks. But how to define pointing? Read on to know!

What is Pointing in Construction?

In building maintenance, pointing is the technique of repairing mortar joints typically between bricks and/or other masonry surfaces. The ageing mortar at times cracks and disintegrates which is when we require pointing. The defective mortar is removed by power tool or hand and the gap is filled with fresh mortar. If possible, the new mortar is desired to be of the same composition as the original mortar. Thus, pointing can also be defined as the strengthening of stone or brick masonry joints.

What are The Different Types of Pointing?

Pointing does not mean simply filling up the mortar joints in masonry work. There are 8 types of pointing in construction to protect the joints from the adverse atmosphere. Deciding the type of pointing to be used on mortar joints depends on what it is protecting the joints from. Here’s a list of the different types of pointing:

  1. Flush Pointing
  2. Tuck Pointing
  3. Recessed Pointing
  4. Struck Pointing
  5. V-grooved Pointing
  6. Beaded Pointing
  7. Keyed Pointing
  8. Weathered Pointing

Let’s Check Them Out in Detail!

 1. Flush Pointing

Flush pointings are constructed by removing the extra mortar from the joints and making the joint flush with the face. It’s not particularly aesthetic but is durable. This type of pointing saves the joints from the accumulation of water, dust, etc.

  • 2. Tuck Pointing

Tuck pointing is a type of pointing in construction where a groove of 3mm depth and 5 mm width is formed at the centre of the joint. This type of pointing has two types based on the projection:

  1. Tuckpointing: when the projection is white cement putty
  2. Half-tuck pointing or bastard pointing: when the projection is the mortar

Here’s what is done while forming a keyed pointing:

  1. The joint is raked.
  2. Mortar is pressed into the raked joint.
  3. It is finished with a flush with a face.
  4. A narrow channel or groove of 3 mm depth and 5 mm width is cut in the centre of the fresh mortar.
  5. White cement putty is poured into the groove. It should project beyond the 3 mm mark.

3. Recessed Pointing

Recessed pointing involves pressing the face of the pointing vertically into the wall surface with the help of a hand tool. The mortar is pressed back by 5 mm or more from its edges. Since it’s recessed, the overall appearance is great. They do not shed water so it may not be a good idea to use them for buildings exposed to water retention. This type of pointing needs to be done with bricks only so that the frost resistance is excellent.

  • 4. Beaded Pointing

These are formed by an iron or steel rod with concave edges. The mortar is pressed into concave grooves in the masonry joint. It does give an appealing appearance but can get damaged easily. Therefore, it needs a high maintenance routine.

5. Struck Pointing

Struck pointing is done by keeping its face inclined inside the masonry while the edges are pressed into the face by 10 mm. But first, the mortar is refilled and pressed in level with the brick masonry work. Both the upper and the lower edges of the joint can be inserted into the face of the masonry but inserting the upper edge is better than the latter. It disposes water easily but with a lowered edge of the joint inside the masonry, water will easily collect. This type of pointing is called overhand struck pointing when the lower edge is inserted.

6. V-grooved Pointing

This type of pointing gets its name from the shape of the grove engraved in the flush finishing face in the mortar. They are similar to keyed pointing with the difference being the V-shaped groove. The shape is given with a V-shaped hand tool.

7. Keyed Pointing

Also called, grooved or rubbed pointing, keyed pointing is a type of pointing where a groove is formed at its mid-height with a pointing tool such as a trowel. It is then finished off with the face of the masonry. The joint is pressed by a steel rod of 6 mm diameter and a curved arc is formed. You can even create a vertical joint in the same manner. This type of pointing gives the walls an appealing appearance.

8. Weathered Pointing

Weathered pointing also needs a V-shape in its flushing face on the mortar but the difference here is that it’s a projection and not a groove. The top of the horizontal joints of the fresh mortar is neatly pressed by 3 to 6 mm to create a projection.

A Final Word: What are The Advantages of Pointing in Construction?

All brick masonry requires pointing to maintain its condition. Restoring and keeping up the appearance of the building are the main advantages of pointing in construction. It is an essential job and a part of building maintenance. Here are some of its advantages:

  1. Reduces the need for rehabilitation works or repairs
  2. Maintains or increases the overall value of the building
  3. Restores the building’s appearance
  4. Weather Proofs the external walls of the building
  5. Improves the structural integrity of the building

Types of Pointing FAQs:

1) What is the most common type of pointing?

A flush pointing is made by filling the mortar joints, scraping away the excess mortar, and creating the joint flush with a stone or brick’s face. Due to its highly durable nature and the inability to collect water, dust, etc. flush pointing is the most commonly used type of filing in construction.

2) What are the purposes of pointing?

Pointing is a technique in construction that requires the application of lime mortar or cement to brick masonry at joints. This prevents the building from getting damp, basically making it waterproof. Pointing also serves aesthetic purposes.

3) What is the difference between pointing and jointing?

Brickwork is usually “jointed” which means the joints are finished as work progresses and requires no further attention. On the other hand, “pointing” means to finish off joints that have been raked out on the day the brickwork was constructed.

4) How do you prepare a surface for pointing?

Pointing seems easy, but you need to prepare the surface to do it. Here’s how you prep a surface for pointing in construction:

  • The mortar of the joints must be raked out at least to a 20 mm depth.
  • The dust in the joints must be removed by brushes.
  • The surface is to be washed with clean water
  • It should be kept wet for a few hours before applying the pointing.
  • 5) What is the best mortar mix for pointing?

    For bricklaying, the standard ratio of average mortar mix is 4:1 or 3:1. If you are using a pointing mix, make sure to have a mortar-to-sand ratio of 1:5 or 1:4. For concrete, the ratio depends on the strength you are aiming for.

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