Introduction of Pointing

Introduction of Pointing

Introduction of Pointing

Pointing is a fundamental aspect of human communication that goes back to our earliest civilizations. It is a nonverbal gesture used to indicate a specific target or refer to a particular object, person, or concept. From a simple finger to elaborate hand gestures, pointing has evolved over time and has become an integral part of our daily interactions. Its significance and impact on our communication cannot be overstated. In this article, we will delve into the history and development of pointing, its various forms and functions, and its role in enhancing nonverbal communication.

When Pointing is Done

When Pointing is Done

Pointing is an important process in the construction and maintenance of buildings, bridges, and other civil structures. It refers to the technique of filling the gaps between bricks, stones, or other building materials with mortar. The main purpose of pointing is to enhance the strength, durability, and appearance of a structure.

The process of pointing begins after the construction of the main structure is completed. It is carried out by skilled masons who have a thorough understanding of the type of structure and the materials used in its construction. The process of pointing involves carefully filling the gaps between the masonry units with mortar. The mortar mix used for pointing usually has a higher ratio of cement to sand compared to the one used for masonry work. This is to ensure that the mortar is strong enough to hold the structure together and prevent cracking or weathering.

The first step in the pointing process is to remove any loose or damaged mortar from the joints. This is usually done using a small hammer and chisel or a special pointing trowel. The joints are then cleaned thoroughly to remove any debris or dust that may prevent proper bonding of the new mortar. Once the joints are clean, the mortar mix is prepared by mixing cement, sand, and water in the correct ratio. The consistency of the mortar should be thick enough to hold its shape but also fluid enough to be easily applied.

The mortar mix is then carefully applied to the joints using a pointing trowel. The joints are filled in small sections, and the excess mortar is scraped off using the edge of the trowel. The filled joints are then finished off with a striking tool or a special pointing iron to give them a smooth and neat finish. It is important to ensure that the new mortar is well compacted and has proper contact with the edges of the bricks or stones to ensure maximum strength and stability.

Traditionally, pointing was done using lime mortar, but nowadays, cement-based mortars are more commonly used due to their higher strength and durability. However, in the restoration of historical structures, lime mortar is still used to maintain the authenticity and aesthetic appeal of the building.

In addition to enhancing the strength and durability of a structure, pointing also plays a crucial role in protecting it from the elements. Properly pointed joints prevent water from seeping into the structure, which can cause erosion and damage over time. It also helps to keep pests and insects at bay, preventing them from entering the structure through gaps in the masonry.

In conclusion, pointing is an essential process in the construction and maintenance of buildings and other civil structures. It not only enhances the strength and durability of a structure but also improves its appearance and protects it from the elements. It requires skill and expertise to be done correctly, and it is a crucial aspect of ensuring the longevity and stability of a structure.

Importance of Pointing

Importance of Pointing

Pointing is an essential task in the construction process and is considered crucial in ensuring the durability and stability of a structure. It involves filling the gaps or joints between bricks, stones, or other masonry units with cement mortar or other suitable materials.

The importance of pointing can be understood in the following ways:

1. Structural Integrity: The main purpose of pointing is to protect masonry walls from weathering and water ingress. The gaps between the masonry units can allow moisture to seep in, leading to the weakening of the structure. Pointing helps to fill these gaps and makes the wall more durable and stable, ensuring its structural integrity.

2. Aesthetic Appeal: Pointing plays a vital role in enhancing the appearance of a structure. It gives a finished and uniform look to the masonry walls, making them aesthetically pleasing. A well-pointed wall adds to the overall visual appeal and value of a building.

3. Weather Resistance: Weather conditions such as rain, snow, or extreme temperatures can damage masonry walls over time. The gaps between masonry units can allow water to seep in, leading to dampness, mold, and deterioration of the structure. Properly pointed walls are more resistant to harsh weather conditions, preventing water ingress and prolonging the lifespan of the building.

4. Sound Insulation: Pointing also helps to improve the sound insulation of a building. When the gaps between the masonry units are filled, it reduces the amount of noise and vibrations that can pass through the structure. This is particularly important for buildings located in noisy areas or along busy roads.

5. Fire Protection: Masonry walls are considered fire-resistant, but the gaps between the units can provide easy passages for fire to spread quickly. Proper pointing can help to prevent the spread of fire by filling these gaps, making the structure more fire-resistant.

6. Cost-Efficient: Building maintenance can be costly, and regular re-pointing can help to save money in the long run. Neglected walls with deteriorating pointing may require extensive repairs or even reconstruction, which can be avoided by timely re-pointing.

In conclusion, pointing is a critical aspect of construction that ensures the structural integrity, weather resistance, and visual appeal of a building. It is a cost-efficient way to maintain the durability and stability of a structure and should not be overlooked. A well-pointed building not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also adds value to the structure and ensures its longevity.

Uses of Pointing

Uses of Pointing

Pointing is a term used in civil engineering to describe the process of filling gaps or joints between different building materials, such as bricks, stones, or tiles. It is an important technique that serves both functional and aesthetic purposes in construction. Here are some of the key uses of pointing:

1. Water Sealing: Pointing is essential in preventing water from entering the building through gaps between stones or bricks. The mortar used in pointing acts as a barrier and helps to keep water out, protecting the structural integrity of the building.

2. Strength and Stability: Properly done pointing helps to bind the individual bricks or stones together, creating a strong and stable structure. This is particularly important in load-bearing walls or structures, where the joints or gaps need to be filled to distribute the load evenly.

3. Aesthetics: Pointing not only serves a functional purpose but also adds to the appearance of a building. It can enhance the overall look of a structure by filling in gaps and creating clean, crisp lines between building materials. The color of the mortar can also be chosen to complement the building’s design.

4. Protection Against Pests: Pointing can also act as a deterrent against pests, such as rodents or insects, from entering a building. Sealing gaps with mortar makes it difficult for pests to find entry points, reducing the risk of damage to the building.

5. Repair and Maintenance: Over time, buildings may develop cracks or gaps between building materials due to weathering or settling. Pointing can be used as a maintenance measure to repair and reinforce these areas, extending the lifespan of the structure.

6. Weatherproofing: The mortar used in pointing also serves as a weatherproofing agent, protecting the building from harsh elements such as rain and wind. This not only helps to maintain the structural integrity of the building but also improves its energy efficiency by preventing drafts.

7. Restoration: In older buildings, the mortar used in pointing may deteriorate over time, leading to gaps between stones or bricks. Properly done pointing during restoration work can help to preserve the original design and aesthetics of the building while improving its structural integrity.

In conclusion, pointing is a crucial technique in civil engineering that serves both practical and aesthetic purposes. From providing strength and stability to improving the appearance and weatherproofing of a structure, pointing plays a vital role in ensuring the longevity of a building. As such, it is a technique that is widely used in various construction projects.

Mortars Used in Pointing

Mortars Used in Pointing

Mortars are widely used in the construction industry, and one of their main applications is in pointing. Pointing is the process of filling in gaps or joints between masonry units, such as bricks or stones, to create a strong and cohesive structure. Mortars used in pointing play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and aesthetic appearance of the masonry.

Types of Mortars Used in Pointing:

1. Cement Mortar: Cement mortar is a mixture of cement, sand, and water. It is the most commonly used mortar in pointing due to its high strength, durability, and resistance to weathering. Cement mortar is also easy to mix and apply, making it a popular choice among builders. However, it is not suitable for historic buildings as it can cause damage to fragile masonry.

2. Lime Mortar: Lime mortar is a mixture of lime, sand, and water. It has been used for centuries in pointing and is still preferred for restoration and conservation of historic buildings. Unlike cement mortar, lime mortar is breathable, allowing moisture to escape from the masonry, preventing damage from freezing and thawing. It is also more flexible, making it suitable for softer or more delicate masonry.

3. Gauged Mortar: Gauged mortar is a combination of cement and lime mortar. It offers the best properties of both types, making it ideal for use in pointing. The addition of cement increases the strength of the mortar, while the lime enhances its flexibility and breathability. Gauged mortar is commonly used in modern buildings, where a balance of strength and flexibility is required.

4. Polymer Modified Mortar: Polymer modified mortar is a combination of cement, lime, and polymer additives. It is gaining popularity in pointing due to its increased durability, water resistance, and reduced shrinkage. Polymer modified mortar is also more resistant to cracking, making it suitable for use in areas with extreme weather conditions.

Application of Mortars in Pointing:

The application of mortars in pointing requires careful preparation and execution to ensure the longevity and quality of the structure. The following steps are typically followed in the pointing process:

1. Preparation: The first step in pointing is preparing the joints. This involves removing any old mortar or debris from the joints using tools such as chisels, hammers, or grinding wheels. The joints must be deep enough to allow sufficient mortar to be applied and to bond with the masonry units.

2. Mixing: The mortar is then mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The correct proportion of ingredients is crucial to the strength and durability of the mortar. It is essential to mix small batches at a time to prevent the mortar from drying out before it is applied.

3. Application: Depending on the type of mortar used, the application process may vary. In general, the mortar is pressed into the joints using a pointing trowel or jointing iron, making sure to fill the entire space and remove any air bubbles. The excess mortar is then scraped away, leaving a smooth finish.

4. Finishing: Once the mortar has set, various techniques can be used to achieve the desired finish. A pointing trowel can be used to create a concave or flush finish, while a jointing iron can be used for a less pronounced rounded finish.

In conclusion, mortars used in pointing are essential in maintaining the integrity and appearance of masonry structures. The type of mortar chosen will depend on various factors such as the type of

Types of Pointing

Types of Pointing

Pointing is the process of filling gaps and joints between masonry units or structures to provide a finished and aesthetically pleasing appearance. It also serves to prevent moisture and air infiltration, which can cause damage to the structure. There are different types of pointing methods used in construction, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will discuss the various types of pointing used in civil engineering.

1. Flush pointing
Flush pointing, also known as flat pointing, is the most common type of pointing used in construction. In this method, the mortar is placed between the brick or stone units in such a way that it is flush with the surface of the masonry. This creates a smooth and uniform finish, making it aesthetically pleasing. However, flush pointing is not recommended for structures exposed to extreme weather conditions as it may crack and allow moisture to enter.

2. Recessed pointing
Recessed pointing, also known as bucket handle pointing, is similar to flush pointing but with a slight recess at the center of the mortar joint. This is achieved by using a trowel to push the mortar inwards towards the center of the joint. The recessed joint provides better protection against weather conditions as it prevents water from standing on the surface of the mortar. It also adds depth and texture to the masonry, making it more visually appealing.

3. Tuck pointing
Tuck pointing, also known as double pointing, is a method used to enhance the appearance of older masonry structures. In this method, a thin layer of mortar is applied over the existing joint and is then partially removed to create a narrow groove. A second layer of colored mortar is then applied over the first layer to fill the groove, giving the appearance of a neat and continuous joint. Tuck pointing is a time-consuming process but produces a more decorative and visually appealing finish.

4. Weathered pointing
Weathered pointing, also known as struck pointing, is a technique used in traditional brick construction. In this method, the top surface of the joint is slightly angled downwards to allow water to run off. This prevents water from standing on the surface of the mortar, which could lead to erosion and cracking. Weathered pointing is commonly used in areas with heavy rainfall or high humidity.

5. V-pointing
V-pointing, also known as weather struck or slush pointing, is a technique used to create a sharply defined V-shaped groove in the mortar joint. This is achieved by cutting away a small portion of the mortar joint at a 45-degree angle. V-pointing is commonly used in brickwork and stonework and adds a decorative element to the structure.

In conclusion, pointing is an essential process in construction that not only provides a finished and aesthetically pleasing appearance but also ensures the durability and stability of the structure. The type of pointing chosen will depend on the type of masonry, weather conditions, and the desired aesthetic appearance. As a civil engineer, it is important to understand the different types of pointing and their suitability for different structures to ensure a successful construction project.

Advantages of Pointing

Advantages of Pointing

Pointing is a common technique used in the construction industry that involves filling the joints between bricks or stones with mortar. This process has been around for centuries and has numerous advantages that make it a popular choice for construction projects. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of pointing in detail.

1. Weather Resistance:

Pointing provides a protective layer to the masonry structure. The mortar used in pointing is a mixture of cement, sand, and water, which makes it a strong and durable material. It acts as a barrier against harsh weather conditions such as rain, wind, and snow. It prevents water from seeping into the joints and causing damage to the structure. This makes it an ideal choice for structures that are exposed to extreme weather conditions.

2. Strengthens the Structure:

One of the primary advantages of pointing is that it increases the strength of the masonry structure. The joints between bricks or stones are the weakest points of a structure. By filling them with mortar, it provides support and stability, making the structure more durable. This is especially important in load-bearing structures such as walls and arches.

3. Aesthetically Pleasing:

Pointing enhances the overall appearance of a structure. It gives a clean and uniform look to the surface by filling in any gaps between the bricks or stones. It also allows for different styles and patterns to be created, adding to the visual appeal of the structure. Pointing can be done with different colors of mortar, giving architects and designers more options to be creative.

4. Prevents Insect Infestation:

Pointing helps in sealing any gaps or cracks in the joints, preventing insects and pests from entering the structure. These gaps can also act as entry points for water, which can lead to mold and mildew growth, making the structure uninhabitable. By filling these gaps, pointing prevents any such infestations and maintains the integrity of the structure.

5. Cost-Effective:

Pointing is a relatively inexpensive process, making it a cost-effective choice for construction projects. It requires minimal materials and tools, and the labor cost is also relatively low. The durability of pointing also reduces the need for frequent repairs and maintenance, saving both time and money in the long run.

6. Improves Insulation:

When mortar is filled between the joints, it creates a layer of insulation. This helps in regulating the temperature inside the structure, keeping it warm in winter and cool in summer. This reduces the need for artificial heating and cooling, making it an eco-friendly option for sustainable buildings.

In conclusion, pointing has several advantages that make it a popular and essential technique in the construction industry. From providing strength and stability to enhancing the aesthetics and improving insulation, pointing offers numerous benefits that make it an indispensable part of any building project.

Disadvantages of Pointing

Disadvantages of Pointing

Pointing is a process used in civil engineering to fill the gaps or joints between masonry units, such as bricks or blocks, with mortar. While pointing can provide structural integrity and prevent water infiltration, it also has several disadvantages that should be considered.

1. Time-consuming process: Pointing is a time-consuming process, and it requires skilled labor and precise craftsmanship to achieve a neat and uniform finish. It may also require multiple layers of pointing, which can add to the overall time and cost of a project.

2. Labor and material costs: As pointing is a labor-intensive process, it can significantly increase the labor cost of a project. Additionally, the cost of materials, such as mortar, can add to the overall cost of pointing.

3. Maintenance: Pointing requires regular maintenance to keep the joints in good condition. If not properly maintained, the mortar may crack or deteriorate, leading to water infiltration and structural issues.

4. Weather dependence: Pointing cannot be carried out in wet or freezing weather as it can affect the quality of the mortar. This can cause delays and prolong the construction process.

5. Inconsistency: The quality of pointing can vary depending on the skill of the workers and the type of mortar used. Improperly executed pointing can lead to gaps, unevenness, and weak joints, compromising the stability and aesthetics of the structure.

6. Difficulty in repairs: If any issues arise in the joints of pointed masonry, repairs can be challenging. It may require removing the existing pointing, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

7. Limited design options: Pointing restricts the design options available for the masonry units, as the width and color of mortar used must match the units. This can limit the creativity of architects and designers.

In conclusion, while pointing has its benefits, such as providing structural support and preventing water penetration, it also has significant drawbacks. It is essential to consider these disadvantages before deciding to use pointing in a construction project. Alternatives, such as using precast or pre-pointed masonry units, may be more efficient and cost-effective solutions in some cases.


In conclusion, pointing has played a crucial role in the development of communication and language throughout human history. From its early origins as a survival mechanism to its widespread use in modern society, pointing continues to be an essential tool for conveying information and understanding among individuals. With its simplicity and universality, pointing has allowed for effective communication across language barriers and has greatly enhanced our ability to interact and collaborate with one another. As we continue to evolve and advance as a species, it is clear that the practice of pointing will remain a fundamental aspect of our communication and will continue to facilitate our understanding of the world around us.

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