Brick is a building material that has long been valued for its strength and durability. Brick buildings stand the test of time. There’s a reason the wolf couldn’t destroy the third pig’s house. But masonry also has its drawbacks. If a homeowner sees crumbling brick or severe moisture damage, it may be time to call a professional. But if the mortar joints, the cement mixture between the bricks, deteriorate, you can handle the job yourself. Do-it-yourself masonry repairs are easier than you might expect and can save you a lot of money down the road.
To get started, you’ll need a few tools.
You’ll also need a putty knife and a crease indicator, a flat blade that presses the new grout into the seams. To finish the repair, you will need a seam rake or similar tool to smooth and shape the wet paste. You will need a bag of mortar and a bucket to mix it. With this in hand, you’ll be ready to tackle Masonry Repair.
Start by determining the scope of the problem. A good test is to take the key to the house and scratch the seams between the bricks with it. The solid solution will not crumble, but it should be replaced if it falls off in chunks. Once you get an idea of the project’s scope, use an angle grinder to make a horizontal cut above and below each joint. After freeing the damaged areas, use the impact drill to make cracks and knock them out of the wall. Clean the new grooves with a stiff brush.
Once the bad solution has been completely removed, mix a new batch. Mix with water according to package directions; the final consistency should be similar to thick peanut butter. Put a drop of paste on the palette and place the palette in the empty slot. Use the folding indicator to squeeze fresh mortar into the space between the bricks. When filling the slots, ensure the paste does not harden or seize. Typically, a new masonry joint will be ready to “fire” within thirty minutes of application. Take a finishing tool and run it over the seam. Seek the advice of a masonry repair specialist at your hardware store to achieve the desired effect.
The final step in a masonry repair project is cleaning as needed to remove any excess mortar that has dried on the brick. If the brush doesn’t work, try hydrochloric acid to finish crisp, straight lines on a freshly repaired brick.