Finding a local mortar testing lab to provide mortar analysis services to match mortar color, formula, and composition of existing or historic mortar can be difficult, but we provide these services globally from our lab in Granbury, TX near Dallas-Fort Worth.
AMR Labs is a mortar testing lab providing analysis of hardened mortar samples to determine the composition of existing mortar and create a matching mortar formula, and offers mortar color matching services also. Our lab testing services are often used to analyze and match old historic lime mortar for historic restoration and preservation, to determine mortar types and composition formulas, to determine if a quality mortar was used, or if the mortar used matches the recommended mortar materials for a project.
Mortar testing is the process of analyzing samples of mortar, but not all testing methods are the same or for the same purpose. There are many testing methods provided by the astm for testing hardened mortar samples. With each individual testing method, there are limitations to the accuracy of their results. This is especially true of the astm c1324 mortar testing method.
The reason for the variance and inaccuracy of these types of mortar analysis is they miss many useful details about the mortar that can be used in a scientific analysis of the mortar to limit variance and increase the accuracy of the mortar testing results.
Mortar Analysis Testing
Our mortar analysis uses many of the common mortar analysis procedures including the compressive strength testing of mortar, acid digestion method of mortar analysis, and examining the samples through magnification, and collects these commonly unused facts about the samples of mortar. These additional details are used and calculated into our interpretations and results to logically eliminate the range of variance in testing results. Through this, we can more accurately identify the mortar composition formula and provide better results than any mortar testing lab using one standard testing method for mortar analysis.
Through use of our mortar analysis testing method, we are able to determine the mortar composition and match mortar colors more closely. As the color of mortar depends on its composition, matching mortar color also is dependant on the composition of mortar being matched.
Testing Mortar Samples/Mortar Composition Matching
This is why mortar analysis and testing are important in any masonry repair or historic mortar restoration.
Testing samples of hardened mortar is imperative to any masonry mortar restoration, but especially in historic mortar repair. Historic mortar tends to be much softer than the new mortars, and ranges greatly in its compressive strength. This is due to the bricks and stones used. Most of the bricks and tile were hand made and sun baked and were much softer than the hard fired clay bricks used today, and to prevent damage to the bricks, a softer mortar was used.
In preserving and restoring these historic mortars and historic buildings, it is important to test and match the existing mortar and its compressive strength to prevent damage to these historic antique bricks that cannot be replaced.
Analysis & Matching Existing Mortar
However, analyzing and testing mortar for matching is not limited to historic masonry. It is just as important to match the mortar of today. Mismatched mortar can cause many common masonry problems. Among these are chipping or spalling brick faces, loose bricks, loose mortar, mortar popping loose or popping out, mortar cracking after repairs, mortar separation cracks, crumbling mortar, and many more. These are all resulting from new mortar not matching the existing mortar in the mortar joints. Mortars that are harder than the old mortar tend to pop loose and damage brick faces because they are not bonding to the existing mortar, and mortars that are softer than the old mortar tend to crumble or deteriorate rapidly.
Matching Mortar Composition
Matching the composition of mortar is the first step in matching mortar color for masonry repair.
When restoring or repairing masonry, take the time to match the mortar type and composition. This will include the color and graded particles of the sand which compose the majority of most mortars and can change the color of mortar significantly. We also recommend matching the mortar color pigments or aging as this will effect the appearance of the repairs. Mismatched mortar color makes the masonry repair look bad and there is no reason for the repairs to stand out.
We offer many types of mortar analysis and masonry testing including mortar color/composition matching. Some are listed below.