Poor pointing between bricks and dampness inside a house

Poor pointing between bricks can lead to dampness inside houses due to several reasons:

Water Ingress: Pointing is the external part of mortar joints in masonry construction. If the pointing is damaged, deteriorated, or poorly done, it creates gaps and cracks in the mortar. These defects allow rainwater and moisture to seep into the wall.

Capillary Action: Bricks are porous, and capillary action can draw moisture up through them. If the pointing is not effectively sealing the joints, this capillary action can draw more water into the brickwork from the ground or the surrounding air, leading to damp patches on internal walls.

Decreased Insulation: Moisture within the walls can reduce the thermal efficiency of the building. Wet materials conduct heat more readily than dry materials, leading to increased heat loss and potentially contributing to a colder and damper internal environment.

Salt Migration: When moisture enters the brickwork, it can dissolve soluble salts within the bricks and mortar. If this moisture moves towards the interior surfaces and evaporates, it can leave salt deposits behind. These salts can attract more moisture from the air inside the house, leading to further dampness.

Frost Damage: In colder climates, water penetrating the brickwork can freeze, leading to frost damage. This can exacerbate the deterioration of the pointing and brickwork, increasing the pathways for water ingress and leading to more significant damp problems inside the house.

Condensation: Poorly pointed brickwork can also contribute to condensation problems inside a house. If there is a significant temperature difference between the inside and outside of a wall, moisture in the warmer interior air can condense on the colder inner surfaces of the exterior walls, leading to dampness.

Effective pointing is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the masonry and preventing water ingress that can lead to dampness inside. Regular maintenance and timely repairs of the pointing can help prevent such issues.