Functions and Attributes of Mortar

The easiest way to think of mortar is as the glue that holds it all together. In this instance, mortar masonry is holding together walls, foundations, and facades of various materials. Keeping it together is helped by knowing exactly what you need to get the project done. Mortar comes in various formulations depending on the requirements of the job. Read more in this blog about the functions and types.

A Long History

Almost since building has been going on, especially involving uneven quarried stone or kiln fired bricks, there have been a variety of mortars. The Pyramids of Egypt used mortar but there’s evidence of mortars being employed even before that. The effectiveness of various mortars varied widely, especially their ability to withstand the effects of weather, as evidenced by the deterioration of Gothic cathedrals from their mortars. At one point mortar developed in China contained sticky rice soup as an ingredient to improve its resistance to weather. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

One interesting attribute of a mortar mix is that it is designed to be quite strong, but less strong than the structure or walls it supports. Since mortar is easier to repair than the structure, it’s made in this way, to deteriorate before the primary structure is affected.

Mortars Today

As is the case with building materials like mortar, they are subject to the scrutiny of the ASTM (formerly the American Society of Testing and Materials) and are graded based on their strength. The type of project will determine which mortar to employ. More details are available on our blog post here -

Mortars can have colors added to them to complement the look of a project. Some mortars are specially formulated to handle extreme heat, so your outdoor oven can maintain its integrity while it’s used. A variety of different products are available for repairs, including tubes of products with a latex base for smaller jobs. Concrete mortar dissolver will help with the cleanup of a job by removing the dried-on mortar that is present on a finished facade. Note that some of these may contain strong acids, so look for one that is environmentally friendly.

Mortars and the additional products related to them provide variety and flexibility for your building project. Be sure to talk to your supplier about the details of what you are building, so you choose the right mortar masonry products for the job.

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