Pointing and exterior Painting
Older, softer bricks and stones were always laid with a lime mortar. This allowed any moisture within the wall to evaporate through the mortar rather than the walling medium. Inevitably, over time, the action of the weather would mean that the mortar would recede and therefore need re-pointing. But this was by design.
If you replace the lime mortar with a cement mortar, then it will be stronger than the bricks. It will also block the egress of any moisture and, instead of the mortar dying back it will be the bricks or stones that flake off and spall.
Traditional lime mortar is made by mixing one part lime putty, which is available in 55lb (25kg) tubs, with 3.5 parts well-graded sharp washed sand. Adding a pozzolan of burnt dry clay, one part to eight of mortar, can aid the setting in an exterior situation. The tubs will cost about £8.70, and a semi-skilled person could expect to re-point about two square metres a day.
I want to fit new doors and am wondering if this is something that an amateur can do. Any advice? SP, London
It’s not rocket science but it does need methodical thinking, the right tools and a helper. Cut off any “horns” or stile extensions. Measure the height of the door opening and deduct ½in (12mm).
Deduct this measurement from the height of the rough door and cut off half the answer from each of the top and bottom stiles, using a sharp saw.
Thent work inwards from both corners, finishing off with a plane.
Cut 10mm blocks. Stand the over-wide door on these with a friend holding it against the opening on the other side. Mark down both sides of the door, sufficient to leave 2mm clearance on each side. If any more needs to come off the top, mark this at the same time. Using a workbench, plane down to the marked lines. Try the door in the opening and if it will not fit comfortably, plane off a little at a time. Remember, you can always shave off wood, but it is difficult to put it back.
For a new internal door, the top hinge should be about 7in (175mm) from the top of the door and the bottom hinge about 10in (250mm) from the bottom. If you opt for three sets of hinges, the third set should be midway between the other two. However, if you are replacing a door in an old frame, you will want to align the new hinges with those on the door jamb.
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The website can be expanded or modified easily to suit the needs of a local residential or commercial painting company.
What type of paint should be used for exterior wood?
you should use latex paint
There was a time the answer to that question would have been unequivocally oil based paint. These days there are many quality exterior grade latex and acrylic paints that will do an excellent job and still be environmentally acceptable.