Red Lake County Courthouse Masonry Restoration

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The historic Red Lake County courthouse consists of brick and stone exterior wall construction which is very typical with similar courthouses in Minnesota and in North Dakota. As with all older masonry structures the mortar deteriorates from the wear of our extreme weather. Though only about 50% of the mortar required replacement the decision to re-point the entire structure was made rather than return to complete the remaining 50% in 10 or 20 years.

As with all typical re-pointing projects the joints around all brick and stone were carefully cut out to a depth of 1” using a 4” diameter diamond tip circular saw. The contractor was required to do a 4 foot square test panel to illustrate the workmanship of cut joints directly on the wall of the structure. Passing the test required that only mortar was cut and the brick/stone was protected from the blade. Another adjacent panel was required that illustrated what infilling of the cut joints with mortar that matches the existing in color, texture, joint shape and consistency.

These test panels were then used as the models for the remainder of the work.