BEFORE attempting DIY Maintenance on your column...
You Need to Know what We Know
1) Mis-matching Brick to Mortar Spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E
This pillar is not from the 30's as its conditions suggests, it is pre-1980s, the era when hydralic presses began compressing brick clay so intently they became stone-like. Todays mortars are built specifically for these highly-dense bricks.
Today's mortars are NOT compatible with porous bricks made prior to the introduction of hydraulic presses.
Brick porosity increases for every decending decade from 1980
Bricks with high porosity swell and contract with moisture
ONLY lime based mortar, formulated to the era, should be used on porous bricks.
Bricks trapped within a non-yielding environment will crumble at the face or interior and are often damaged beyond use.
When unyielding mortars are coupled with bricks that need to expand and contract, it is the brick that will succumb to
pressures within the fixed cavity!
2) Examine Brick & Stone Columns regularly
Like chimneys and retaining walls, mailbox and property columns should be examined yearly for cracked mortar, and signs of water permeation.
Columns -like chimneys and walls- are susceptable
to water damage when the mortars fail.
Repointing a column is not expensive
Masonry technicians match mortor to brick or stone permeability
During maintenance, masons can remove mnimal bricks on the facia and frame to accommodate upgraded mailboxes.
Let us Illustrate:
When this column mailbox began to lean and show signs of mortar failure, our technicians were able to reset the column, repoint the grout, and make room for a high-security locking mailbox and address plaque. The change is not only appealing, it provides the homeowner with the security they lacked from their old-style mailbox.
In addition to replacing this park sidewalk with a modern stamped concrete one, we were asked to update and repoint this mailbox column. Later, the sidewalk, the landscaping, and the mailbox are stalwarts of modern technology.