The mortar between bricks may break away and become uneven. The visible edge is called pointing and keeps a wall both weather-resistant and attractive. If pointing is necessary, use a narrow cold chisel to chop out the old pointing to a depth of about 10 mm (2/5 in). Be careful not to damage the bricks and brush away any dust.
The mortar mixture can be made from a straight cement and fine sand mixture in the proportions of about one to six. If dry hydrate is added there is less tendency to shrink during setting and the mixture will be easy to work. The proportions are then one cement, one dry hydrate and six fine sand.
Have the mixture ready, then wet the joints so that the bricks do not absorb too much moisture from the mortar. Use the edge of the trowel to press the mortar in, and leave it projecting a little from the bricks.
Examine any adjoining undamaged pointing. It may be level as in flush pointing, which is made by wiping over the finished pointing with the trowel. Often weathered pointing is used, which slopes outwards from the upper brick to the one below. Fill the vertical joints, then use the edge of the
trowel to press in the upper edges. Use the trowel along the edge of a board to cut the lower edge straight. When the mortar is almost dry, lightly brush it. If hollow pointing is wanted, fill the joint flush with the surface, then hollow out the joint. This can be done with the rounded end of a rod or tube drawn along the wet mortar.