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a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

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a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by Sherman on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:54 am

awhile back I asked about the pros / cons of using sheetrock (gemrock or something like that if you are from Canada) here ...
it was so much fun, I thought I bring up another building question!

I've been told that to eliminate celitre (selitre), you mortar rather than the cement and cal (kal).
I've heard this more than once and would like to know if anyone has actually done this, and more importantly, is it a better way to go?
My guess is that it is only just more expensive.

But, after living here for some years, with lots of repairs, and lots more repairs, the initial cost has to be less than all of the annual repairs.

Comments, and lots of feedback, but it all has to be true and based on your own experience!!

Dead Horse

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by RVGRINGO on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:28 am

Salitre always wins in the end.  Twisted Evil Any lawyer or customs agent will confirm that for a fee. The immigration agents may want to know more details about the product source.

Boy, is this off topic and out of place!Beer

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by slainte39 on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:41 am

RVGRINGO wrote:

Boy, is this off topic and out of place!Beer  

Bob, do you always start this early in the morning or just during Semana Pascua?   lol!

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by RVGRINGO on Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:56 pm

It is a time zone thing. Already been to the VA for bloodletting! razberry

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by Sherman on Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:01 pm

gracias ... oppppssss! will move the post.

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by Sherman on Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:03 pm

OK, I'm now on the right page ..... so there's no one here that believes there is an improvement in the salitre problem by using mortar instead of cement and lime???? In addition to all of the harrassment above, there must be someone with real experience and a good comment????

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by CHILLIN on Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:25 pm

So you want to become a mason now? Mortar is much harder than lime/concrete cement. Usually they only add the lime to increase the workability and slow down the curing time of regular cement. I have used straight lime and sand, usually to protect fragile stone or terracotta - if there is shifting or road vibration, you want the joint to fail rather than crack the often irreplaceable stone or terracotta. Over a long period of time, the lime mortar will actually become many times stronger than cement mortar, then it has to be removed.

Salitre is caused by water and salts moving through the concrete. You could make a waterproof cement patch where the salitre was, but then it might find a new outlet. There are many chemicals now to make waterproof cement, but the least expensive way is to use "sharp" silica sand - about 200 pesos for 100 lbs. Before applying the patch, brush the area with concrete bonding agent, again inexpensive. The patch area should be moist, but not soaking wet. You could get fancy with some concrete nails and mesh to reinforce the patch, but not likely to be a problem for a shallow patch.

Here is an idea about silica sand in Guadalajara. As you know, the shipping of one bag to Lakeside, may be as expensive as the product, but it never goes bad.

https://listado.mercadolibre.com.mx/arena-silica-en-guadalajara
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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by RVGRINGO on Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:32 pm

Salitre is the deposition of mineral salts from the evaporation of moisture rising from the ground, up through the porous materials of masonry walls. Most such walls in Mexico are of soft brick and mortar, covered with plaster and painted. The removal and patching & repainting is often something that is done every 2 or 3 years.
The only way I can see to sctually stop the rising moisture, short of french drains and lowering the water table, would be to create a moisture-proof barrier at the base of the wall, or even down at the foundation level. the latter would have to be done early in the construction phase, before floors and walls were built.
In existing homes, with a salitre problem, there have been some postings showing holes drilled along the base of the walls, into which an injection of a waterproofing product is allowed to cure, forming a moisture-proof row of bricks and mortar at floor level.  I am not aware of the name of the product, or just how effective it might be; but it does seem to be a logical approach, which might offer good results.
I suggest asking contractors and/or hardware store managers for the name of such a product; one which cures to a waterproof barrier. It might even be a thin, two part epoxy, but it would have to be sufficiently absorbed into the bricks and mortar in order to be effective.

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by Sherman on Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:42 pm

CHILLIN wrote:So you want to become a mason now? Mortar is much harder than lime/concrete cement. Usually they only add the lime to increase the workability and slow down the curing time of regular cement. I have used straight lime and sand, usually to protect fragile stone or terracotta - if there is shifting or road vibration, you want the joint to fail rather than crack the often irreplaceable stone or terracotta. Over a long period of time, the lime mortar will actually become many times stronger than cement mortar, then it has to be removed.

Salitre is caused by water and salts moving through the concrete. You could make a waterproof cement patch where the salitre was, but then it might find a new outlet. There are many chemicals now to make waterproof cement, but the least expensive way is to use "sharp" silica sand - about 200 pesos for 100 lbs. Before applying the patch, brush the area with concrete bonding agent, again inexpensive. The patch area should be moist, but not soaking wet. You could get fancy with some concrete nails and mesh to reinforce the patch, but not likely to be a problem for a shallow patch.

Here is an idea about silica sand in Guadalajara. As you know, the shipping of one bag to Lakeside, may be as expensive as the product, but it never goes bad.

https://listado.mercadolibre.com.mx/arena-silica-en-guadalajara

Thanks for both 'quality' responses.
No, I have NO interests in becoming a mason ...   I'm just trying to be a more informed, and better educated, consumer!!!  Dead Horse

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by Sherman on Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:11 pm

RVGRINGO wrote:Salitre is the deposition of mineral salts from the evaporation of moisture rising from the ground, up through the porous materials of masonry walls. Most such walls in Mexico are of soft brick and mortar, covered with plaster and painted. The removal and patching & repainting is often something that is done every 2 or 3 years.
The only way I can see to sctually stop the rising moisture, short of french drains and lowering the water table, would be to create a moisture-proof barrier at the base of the wall, or even down at the foundation level. the latter would have to be done early in the construction phase, before floors and walls were built.
In existing homes, with a salitre problem, there have been some postings showing holes drilled along the base of the walls, into which an injection of a waterproofing product is allowed to cure, forming a moisture-proof row of bricks and mortar at floor level.  I am not aware of the name of the product, or just how effective it might be; but it does seem to be a logical approach, which might offer good results.
I suggest asking contractors and/or hardware store managers for the name of such a product; one which cures to a waterproof barrier. It might even be a thin, two part epoxy, but it would have to be sufficiently absorbed into the bricks and mortar in order to be effective.

There is one product I bought at the Berel store next to Walmart ... It is a Fester product that is a waterproof barrier, very pricy.
But, it's worth it if it works. That may be to what you are referring or something similar.

S.

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by Clete on Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:12 pm

Sherman wrote:OK, I'm now on the right page .....  so there's no one here  that believes there is an improvement in the salitre problem by using mortar instead of cement and lime????  In addition to all of the harrassment above, there must be someone with real experience and a good comment????

You are probably wondering about the stucco material on your walls. Mortar IS cement and lime (and sand or an equally fine aggregate). You can make a lime mortar without cement but a cement mortar without lime is a no-no. And besides being necessary for workability and elasticity (it also cures slower and cracks less in the case of stucco), lime actually helps improve impermeability.

As far as your salitre problem goes, it has already been explained as to its cause. Unless you remove the source of moisture forget about eliminating salitre (efflorescence in English) with waterproof(?) patches or acids that neutralize the salts. If you attempt to seal the surfaces where it appears, you only trap it inside the wall which can lead to far more serious deterioration. I have seen cases where people have done this (sealing interior wall surfaces) and wind up losing not only large sections of the stucco coats but crumbling wall brick as well. Some even figured they would tile over it but that doesn't work either. The tiles will stick to the stucco but the stucco will eventually separate from the damaged brick behind it and eventually sections of stucco and tile fall off.

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

Post by Sherman on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:17 pm

thanks for the information ..... it is very useful to get this level of detail!

S.

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Re: a building question ... using mortar instead of cement and cal (Kal)

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