Exposed brick walls are wildly popular for their unique look and outstanding durability. Regardless, brick walls may need repairing occasionally. If an entire brick wall needs replacing a licensed contractor should be used, but if only one brick in the wall is damaged this can often be an easy DIY fix. It is paramount to first determine whether the wall you are fixing is load bearing. Inexperienced work on a load bearing wall can result in major structural damage and even personal injury- only licensed contractors should work on load bearing walls.
Starting your DIY Brick Replacement
Before you begin your project you should take a piece of your existing brick to a brickyard. Here, a professional can identify and sell you the exact match- to the untrained eye it is extremely difficult to differentiate between brick styles.
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Mason’s chisel
- Mason’s hammer
- Wire brush
- Shop vacuum
- Plastic bucket with sponge
- Mortar mixing tray
- Pointing tool
- Jointer tool
- Matching replacement bricks
- Mortar mix
- Mortar pigment (if needed)
Extract the Damaged Brick
Begin by using a mason’s chisel and hammer to break down the damaged brick which needs replacing. Be cautious as you chisel not to damage surrounding bricks.
After the damaged brick is successfully extracted, continue to chisel making sure all mortar is removed, leaving the area clean.Afterwards, use your shop vacuum to clear the area of any loose debris. Next, rinse the area with water.
Follow the manufacturer instructions to properly mix your mortar. Be sure that you also have purchased the correct mortar pigment to match the existing color!
Once the mortar has been mixed and the pigment is matching, use your pointing tool to cover all four sides of the opening with about one inch of mortar.
Immediately dampen the new brick with water, then spread mortar on the top and both sides of the brick.
Place the New Brick
Place the brick in the opening. You will need to gently tap it into place with a rubber mallet or similar tool until it is flush with the entire wall- be sure not to tap too hard. If there is any excess mortar, clear it away with the painting tool.
Cure the Repair
To guarantee proper setting and curing, spray the newly placed brick with water. Continue to keep the area moist for approximately 72 hours following placement of the new brick to ensure it sets correctly.
When Should I Call a Professional?
DIY masonry repairs can be extremely intimidating. Not only can a poorly done job remain visible for an extended period, it can be extremely dangerous. We recommend only undertaking minor repairs and only if you are fully confident. In all other cases you should hire a professional. Luckily, Bruno Guerriero is your neighborhood masonry expert! Whether it’s a small repair, a custom design or anything in between we are here to help! Contact us today to see why Bruno Guerriero is right for you!