Nothing gives a house a nice sleek look like a masonry brick wall. The combination of the bricks and mortar is both modern and stylish but not overly aggressive in terms of sticking out. If your bricks are over 50 years old, it may be time to replace them or see if repairs need to be done. If you are looking for some DIY tips on brick repairs, look no further and follow these steps!
Step 1: Figure Out What The Problem Is
Before you indulge in what could be a lengthy process depending on how damaged your bricks are, consult an expert on the matter. Should you replace your entire brick wall or would repairing a small section suffice? Once you’ve answered that question, you can begin your repairs on your own or hire a professional like Bruno Guerriero Construction
Step 2: Bed Joint Raking
Rake out the horizontal joints in the bricks. You should try to get as deep as ¾ inch. There are cases though where you have differentiations in the sizes of the brick, like where joints are wider than ½ inch so do your research before diving in. Your choice of equipment also depends on how wide the bed joints are. Joints that are ¼ inch wide, commonly referred to as “butter joints”, can be taken out using a carbide-tipped grout saw but others that are wider should require a chisel and engineers hammer.
Step 3: Head Joint Cleaning
Once you’ve cleared out the some of the bed joints, usually a small area of about three to four, start clearing out the head (vertical) joints. Be cautious when performing this step because you don’t want to chip the edge of the bricks. This step can be performed using a 5-in-1 painting tool along with a hammer.
Step 4: Washing Down the Wall
You want to make sure that all the extra crumbs and debris are gone. Having dry crumbs left in the cracks will prevent the new mortar from drying properly and could cause your problems down the road.
Step 5 Create Your New Mortar Mix
This step is fairly simple since there should be directions on the bag. You want to put the recommended amount of water in the dry mix until it becomes a consistency similar to that of peanut butter. Then, you’ll want to wait about 15 minutes until you see a film of water form on the mix. Stir the water back in and your mortar mix is ready for use. The great thing about the mix is that it usually lasts around 8 hours so you can take your time and not rush the process.
Step 6: Filling Your Joints
You’ll want to start off by scooping the mortar onto your brick trowel and filling in the bed point first. Once you’ve done about three to four of them go back and start to fill in the head joints. Continue this process while continually smoothing out the mortar that has already been placed until your wall is complete. Finally, scrape off any excess mortar.
Step 7: Brush Your wall
After the mortar has become firm, brush any excess crumbs that may have been left behind. Do NOT brush inside the joints because it can pull out the mortar. Next, take a sponge and very carefully wash off any extra residue that may be left. For the next three days, cover the wall with a tarp so that it is protected from rain, wind, and even the sun. You’ll want to go back once a day and gently spray your wall with water to keep the brick and mortar moist.