Mortar Done Right
Actor Raymond Burr played Perry Mason on TV. In court, he came up with logical answers for tricky problems. But one day he was stumped when he had to do some repair work on his home. The mortar in a few exterior bricks had crumbled and some of it had fallen away.
Thinking “this can’t be too hard to fix,” he rolled up his sleeves and went to work. After cleaning and clearing out debris, he mixed up some mortar and refilled the joints. It looked fine at first, but soon the problem resurfaced.
What did Perry do wrong? He didn’t wet the surrounding area with water first before putting in the new wet mortar, and, alas, the dry bricks sucked out all the moisture before the new mortar could “cure” and dry.
So let that be a lesson: Adding moisture slows the curing process, strengthens the bond and stops premature cracks and crumbling.