Repairing Brick Walls
Bricks are a common building material that often become damaged over time. Cracked bricks are unsightly and can be hazardous, making knowledge of brick repair rather important. Most people can perform brick repair on their own, saving the need to call in the professionals. Small cracks grow rapidly and usually multiply, so even the most seemingly insignificant crack should be addressed. Active cracks will spread, requiring the brick to be replaced. Passive cracks, however, do not and are usually reparable. Repointing is the method most often used when repairing damaged brick. It involves removing old mortar and replacing it with new. Repointing also requires tools such as a chisel, screwdriver, or drill to remove debris from the crack; therefore, it is best to use protective eyewear with all of the debris these tools will probably kick up. To more fully clear the crack of debris, spray it with some water to clear out the smallest particles.
The next thing to do is to mix some mortar and let a little bit of it dry in an inconspicuous area of brick. Why? To make sure that it is the right color before you proceed with using it. You can buy mortar at most home repair shops. A type specially made for brick repairs is typically available. Once you have checked that the mortar matches the rest of the brick structure, it can be applied as needed and then shaped and flattened using a trowel. You should spray the area with water once a day for a week afterwards. Though not often readily associated with brick repair, a garden hose is a handy tool because the brick needs to be kept wet as it is being repaired. Muriatic acid can be used to remove residue once the repair is complete, so keep the gloves and protective eyewear handy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Brick repairs may not be a daunting task to those experienced in home improvement, but some people are not as well-versed in these matters. If brick repair seems like too much of a challenge, it may be best to call in a contractor. Calling the professionals for a small job may, however, not be the best way to spend money.