Repairing Old Brick Walls And Structures Without Taking Them Apart

Posted on: 21 August 2018

Brick walls look nice when they are new, but over the years, the mortar can become brittle and begin to fail. If this happens to your brick, you are faced with several alternatives to repair it. The process is not as difficult as you might think, and the end result can be a very nice looking wall that is restored to its former glory in no time.

When Repairs Are Needed

If you have a brick wall that is in need of repair, you may notice loose bricks, voids where the mortar is supposed to be, or chipped out mortar. Structurally, the wall needs the mortar in place and all the bricks locked in properly. If not, the wall cannot do the job it was intended to do. It doesn't matter if it is a small wall in the backyard that is decorative or on your home, the result of leaving it with loose and cracking mortar joints is eventually losing bricks and a lot of structural damage. Once one brick comes loose, it is easier for the bricks around it to start breaking free as well. It is important to get it repaired as soon as you can to keep things from getting worse.

Tuck Pointing Around The Bricks

Tuckpointing is a method of repairing the mortar joints with the bricks in place instead of taking part of the wall down and repairing it. With tuckpointing, the mortar around the brick is chiseled or ground down about an inch deep so that you have a void around the brick. The void is then filled with new mortar using a trowel or with a mortar bag to force the mortar into the joint.

Once the joint is filled with mortar, the face of the joint can be shaped and dressed to look nice and give it that slight indent that you often see on brick structures. This method of repair can be used on single brick repairs or entire sections of the wall. For large sections, the mason has to move fast because the mortar will set up quickly. Because of this, they may break a large area into small sections and work one section at a time.

When the Wall Is Too Damaged To Repair

There is a point at which the wall can no longer be easily repaired with simple tuck pointing. The bricks may be damaged or cracked, the mortar joints too dry and broken, and the overall wall is just too far gone. If this is the case, the entire wall may need to be reconstructed, and your only option is to get a skilled mason to come and do the work. If you have a brick structure that you are concerned about, have a mason come and inspect it for you. They will be able to tell you what needs to be done or if the wall or structure can be repaired at all.

For more information, contact a company like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service.

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