I just repaired loose bricks on my house in preparation to install new window shutters. When would it be ok to drill holes into the mortar and install the shutters? From my other research I'm going to keep the mortar covered and re-wet it a few times a day for 3 days. Is it safe after that?

Additional information: I completely removed all the old mortar and put in all new mortar for about 11 bricks. It's standard Quickcrete mortar from Lowe's. I made the shutters myself from pine boards. But they are comparable in weight to the composite shutters that were installed previously using the same mounting method. (concrete anchor into the mortar)

  • It might be helpful if you edit your post to indicate what type of mortar you used, and whether you tuck-pointed (just a touch-up/repair) or if you fully dug out the mortar and completely replaced the brick. I honestly don't know if that info will matter, but if it does, it will already be here when someone who can answer comes by so (s)he won't have to ask. – FreeMan Jun 22 '20 at 16:46
  • I'm more interested in the nature of the shutters. Are these lightweight plastic things or something heavier? You can't ask when it's safe to hang things without saying what the things are. – isherwood Jun 22 '20 at 16:47
  • updated my post – user3216081 Jun 22 '20 at 16:54

The mortar in my closet says to keep wet/moist for 36 hours so it can fully cure. a lot depends on the climate where it's being used so take a look at the directions for your specific mortar. When you do drill, don't use a hammer drill, a regular drill with a mortar/concrete bit is all you'll need. Don't force it, let the drill and bit do their job. Yours should be ready after three days.

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    Can we agree that maybe if doing that repair you set the anchors in the new mortar? I am not skilled enough to do it but all my brick guys are. – DMoore Jun 22 '20 at 17:05
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    It seems like it's a bit late for the OP, @DMoore, but that sounds like it would have been the ideal solution! – FreeMan Jun 22 '20 at 17:15
  • @DMoore Yep, I agree. Before the OP edited his post, I assumed (don't say it) he would be using Tapcons. – JACK Jun 22 '20 at 17:16
  • @DMoore I guess I figured I shouldn't place the anchors in the wet mortar because it might seep into the inner part of the anchor or the mortar might settle and shift slightly and not have as tight of a fit? But not sure to be honest. – user3216081 Jun 22 '20 at 17:26
  • @user3216081 - it does seep into the anchor but then pops right out the other side once you put a screw in there. – DMoore Jun 22 '20 at 19:17

Zero, is the best amount of time to wait...if you know the locations. And install the anchors with the mortar or just install the screws to back them out for the shutter install.

But yes, 3-days or even next day is perfectly fine. A full-cure is not needed and won't be achieved for a month. The other even better method is to install wood blocks/blocking while mortaring. This isn't always able to be done, but is the most ideal in the right situation...just an FYI.

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