Author Topic: Soft Mortar  (Read 144 times)

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michaelmge

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Soft Mortar
« on: December 12, 2017, 02:32:07 pm »
Hi
This is my first ever post online for any reason and I am hoping somebody may have experience or knowledge of my concerns.
I have now been in my house for 18 months and noticed the mortar falling out where the flashing has been put into the brickwork. This is very unsightly but led me to look at the rest of the mortar.

I have found areas where the perps can be rubbed with the finger and the mortar is rubbing out. I realise that this may happen to start with but it is continuing and I have not got access to all the wall.

I am concerned that there may be more areas like this. The house is south west facing in a severe wind driven rain area. Could this lead to erosion of the effected mortar joints over a period of time or am I worrying about nothing.

The developer sent out their snagging brickworker who concluded that everything looks alright and as all the mortar came from the same silo there is not an issue. He did not test the soft areas himself and did not use a ladder but did finger test mortar that was not an issue.
Any enlightment would be greatly appreciated.


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Re: Soft Mortar
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 05:47:05 am »
First of all it is quite common that the mortar pointing to a flashing can fall out over time and this is part of house maintenance.

Likewise some weather erosion on exposed elevations, but this is only after15 to 18 years not 18 months!

Soft mortar or to use the correct term weak-mix mortar is a growing problem across all housebuilders (who is yours?) and yet the main warranty provider the NHBC is doing nothing to address it.  The primary cause is cement replacement additive being used. Materials such as GGBS for example.   Eve the NHBC';s own "expert" concludes this is the probable reason for the growing incidence of failing  mortar in new homes over the last 8 year or so.

The issue is so bad and has serious structural implications for owners that today I set up a 'Campaign Against Weak Mix Mortar' Facebook Group to raise awareness of the issue and so people like you can share their experiences.   

I am afraid you are at the start of a long journey. You have already experienced the denial and reassurance.

Write to your housebuilder  and insist the mortar is tested at an independent laboratory!
When it has insufficient cement (it should be 1 cement to 5.5 sand) make a warranty claim.

You are not alone. Check out Twitter for "#weakmortar" or #weakmixmortar
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

Tim Fee Snagging Inspector

michaelmge

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Re: Soft Mortar
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 01:21:46 pm »
Thank you for your response, it is much appreciated.
The developer is Bloor Homes.
At 15.00 hours yesterday I messaged the customer service manager, customer service department and the regional director with my thoughts. As of this moment, there has been no acknowledgement from any of them.
Their response at times is extremely slow (I raised this as an issue in August) almost as if they hope you will just give up. Today they are carrying out remedial work to the dpc levels that I had to go through the warranty to achieve anything.

I will update you as things proceed. Again many thanks for your help.


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Re: Soft Mortar
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 07:20:24 am »
I find through this forum and helping people that Bloor homes are pretty useless when it comes to sorting out defects after the site staff have left the site.  Their deficiencies in customer care are at their offices and these staff really need to go on a course or two - unless it is Bloor company policy to be have like this to their unfortunate customers!

Not replying to e mails or returning telephone calls is a basic requirement. They are mots certainly breaching requirement 5.1 of the Consumer Code for Home Builders. You wont get much by way of compensation by claiming for this (£250 seems to be the going rate) but it shows the contempt Bloor have even for rules of their own Code which they signed up to abide by!

I look forward to your update and hope you get justice.
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.