How to Remove Excess Mortar


Whenever you are installing stone, brick or tiles, without a doubt you would be having problem with the excess of mortar during the installation process. Therefore, it is very important for you to wipe up any damp mortar immediately during any installation. Bear in mind that having excess mortar that has dried to the surface of stone, brick or tiles will take a lot more tedious cleaning techniques for you to do in order to remove the excess mortar. If that is the case, you will need to use chemicals such as harsh type of acids that could remove mortar that can also cause injury to yourself if it is not used properly. Below are some of the tips that you can use in order to remove any excess mortar when you are installing stone, bricks or even tiles.

To remove excess mortar, you need:

  • Thick rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses or face shield
  • Chisel or trowel
  • Hammer
  • Water
  • Ladder (optional)
  • Bucket
  • Masonry cleaner
  • Soft-bristled masonry brush
  • Sponge
  • Putty knife
  • Cardboard

Removing Excess Mortar

How to Remove Excess Mortar

  • The first thing that you need to do is to protect yourself before starting any work of removing the excess mortar.
    • Make sure that you wear a thick rubber hand gloves along with a face shield or safety glasses for protection of your eyes.
    • If you are dealing with mortar on the wall, you need to place a ladder next to the affected area in order for you to reach the upper section of the wall.
  • Then, you need to examine the surface affected so that you could locate any large pieces of dried mortar in the area.
    • Once you find them, you need to place the tip of a chisel or the pointed end of a trowel right at the base of the large piece of the mortar. After that, you can start to tap the handle of the tool so that you can chip off as much as possible mortar on the area.
    • Repeat the same process of chipping off all other large pieces of mortar without damaging the surface of the affected area.

In order to remove excess mortar which has been installed for less than 24 hours, you can simply do it by wetting the mortar thoroughly using water before starting to scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush.

  • Make sure that you saturate the whole surface that was affected by the mortar with the water until you find that none of the area appears dry. If you are on the outside area of your house, it is much easier for you to use your garden hose.

You can use cardboard to put pieces of the removed mortar once you started the task.

  • Another step that you can use is to open up a bottle of masonry cleaner that normally contains muriatic acid.
    • Before using the chemical, make sure that you read the instruction provided by the manufacturer on how to use the product.
    • Then, you need to pour the recommended amount into a bucket and ensure that you dilute the acid with water if you find that the manufacturer requires you to do is as instructed by them on the label of the product.
  • Next step that you need to do is to take a soft-bristled masonry brush and insert it into the masonry cleaner
    • Then, you need to scrub the areas affected by the excess mortar with a firm and circular motions.
    • Make sure that you allow the masonry cleaner to sit on the excess mortar for at least three or up to six minutes.
  • You have to scrub the whole affected area in order to remove the softened mortar off the surface.
    • If you find that the mortar is still stubborn and does not come off easily from the surface, you need to allow the chemical solution to soak on the affected area for additional minutes.
  • Once you have finished and the mortar has come off the surface, you should rinse the on the affected area thoroughly by using clean water.
    • This is to remove all kind of traces made by the chemical solutions which if left over time will deteriorate and damage the surface.

    Always remember that whenever you want to remove excess mortar

    • That you apply on tiles; always apply the mortar only on the back of your tiles as opposed to your flooring. Then only you can avoid having any excess of the mortar in the joints of the tiles.
    • Always wear suitable cloth and also protective gear whenever you deal with chemical solutions and work in a well-ventilated area. It is much better to use fans in your work area in order to provide fresh air for the surrounding.
    • Once you are using chemical solutions indoors, always practice extreme caution in order to avoid any kind of damage to other materials and finishes within the surrounding.
    • Make sure that you prepare a neutralizing agent and also easily to access water source. For example, you need to have available neutralizer such as bicarbonate of soda that has been mixed at the rate of 50 grams per litre of water that can also be used for both the pre-wet and final rinse once you have finished using the chemical solutions.

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