General Question

envidula61's avatar

Does ribbon pointing make a wall of masonry stronger than other kinds of pointing?

Asked by envidula61 (1011points) June 10th, 2010

I don’t know if there are any people who know about masonry here, but it’s worth a shot.

I’m not sure the proper terminology: ribbon joint or ribbon point or what, but it’s a raised line of mortar between stones. The alternative is a regular surface level mortar. My house has ribbon joints, and I want to get it repointed because the mortar is falling out and the previous owners have done a horrible (read by themselves) job of repointing.

One estimate by a high end mason describes in detail, how he will drill out to this depth and then wash and clean all the stone and chip off the mortar a previous owner splattered on. The other estimate just says he’ll repoint it.

The high end guy says that ribbon joints are stronger than the other kind. The other guy says they aren’t—they’re just for looks. The other guy also does not describe in any detail how he will do the work.

Who is telling the truth? Which is better?

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2 Answers

grumpyfish's avatar

I don’t know for certain, but it’s not the pointing that lends strength to the joint, it’s the mortar inside between the stones.

The big thing is that you need to keep water from getting into the joints, as when that freezes it’ll crack more mortar out.

I’d ignore the question of ribbon vs. flush, but cleaning out all of the old mortar is rather important.

I’d ask the second (cheaper) guy for a quote for cleaning out the old mortar and replacing it, not just repointing. He may have taken “I just want them repointed” at face value.

MasonSC's avatar

Ribbon joints are not strong at all and are decorative only and are meant for inside use only

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