I have seen some projects where joints were cut out to a depth of 1/2 inch for repointing and others where they have been cut out to a depth of 3/4 inch. Is 1/2 inch adequate?
Prior to 1986, the Brick Institute of America (BIA) in Technical Notes 7 recommended removing mortar to a depth of 1/2 inch for repointing. In 1986, BIA issued Technical Notes 7F, which recommended removing mortar to a depth of 3/4 inch. Some designers and contractors may still be following the older recommendations, but I advocate grinding to a depth of 3/4 inch and applying the mortar in 1/4-inch-thick layers, as BIA currently recommends.