Loose bricks in your home's exterior aren't just annoying, they can result in damage to your home. This is because the loose and weakened mortar joints can allow in moisture and pests. Fixing the brick as quickly as possible is the best choice, but it may not be as easy as you think. That's because the old mortar may be in the way. The following guide can help you better understand how to complete this process.
#1: Assess the damage
Start by removing the brick from the wall. If there are stubborn bits of mortar still holding it in place, you can loosen these by placing a chisel or flat screwdriver against the mortar and then tapping the handle lightly with a hammer until the mortar cracks.
Once the brick is out, check the front face for any damage, such as chipping or flaking. If there is damage, you can flip the brick around so the back faces outward (if the back is in better condition). Alternatively, you can replace the brick with a new one.
#2: Remove the old mortar
Your next task is to remove the remaining mortar that is stuck to the sides of the brick (if you are reusing it) and to the neighboring bricks inside the hole. You may be able to do this easily by scraping the old mortar off with a metal putty knife.
For more stubborn mortar, use your chisel and a hammer. Remember to tap lightly, as you don't want to crack any neighboring bricks or mortar joints. The goal is to try and remove the old mortar in large sheets or flakes. Finish cleaning by scrubbing the bricks with a stiff wire brush to remove the remaining small mortar flakes.
#3: Set the new brick
Replacement is relatively simple once the old mortar is removed. You will need to combine dry mortar mix with water until it has a thick, cement-like consistency. Then, soak the replacement bricks and the brick surfaces inside the hole with water.
Line the bottom of the hole with mortar to a level slightly higher than the neighboring mortar lines. Replace the brick and press it down so the mortar joint is even with the neighboring lines. Then, fill in the sides and top with mortar. Finish by removing the excess and smoothing the joints with the tip of the mortar trowel.
If you need more help, talk to a masonry contractor in your area, like one from Mara Restoration, Inc.
11 August 2016
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