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We live in Milwaukee, WI. Our front porch has a combination of bluestone pavers as well as brick on the stoops with mortar joints. We have had repeated problems with presumably water/expansion in the mortar joints causing cracks/loosening of the joints and subsequently the pavers/stoops over years.

We have taken the whole porch down to the concrete block and rebuilt it. We have also tried tuckpointing a few times, etc. However, every 2-3 years the issues come back. We have had it sealed a few times as well, though not done every year. The porch is not covered, so it is exposed to all of the elements year round. I am very careful to not get driveway salt on it however.

Is there any "permanent" or longer lasting solution that you think is worth trying? I have looked into the idea of concrete stamping so as to eliminate the issues with the joints/mortar. However, in reading about this, I have also read that the stamping will also crack and can be slippery when it is sealed (not good on a front porch).

Should we just go the tuckpointing route again? Is there a type of mortar to use that may last longer? Should we seal the porch every year, and if so, what product works best?

I don't anticipate covering the porch, so regardless of which option we choose, it will still be exposed to our summer/winter conditions. We are tired of spending thousands of dollars on this porch every few years and would really value your opinion. Thanks very much in advance.

  • Are we talking about a floor or a wall? You mention both pavers and concrete block, so I'm unclear. – isherwood Jan 10 at 14:03
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I find using an add mix in the mortar strengthens and some brands even help waterproof mortar. When I lived in Ohio I used a clear epoxy sealer that was sanded it worked quite well to protect the mortar but I did not like the semi gloss sheen, the epoxy did make the stone work much easier to sweep though.

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