Damaged brickwork should be repaired at soon as a problem is spotted - failure to do so can result in further damage to surrounding bricks, or in a worst case scenario, the structure of a wall. For the majority of DIY enthusiasts, brickwork repair can easily be done with the correct tips and tools.
However, before you commence with any repairs, it is very important to check the placement and condition of the wall that you are working on i.e. if it is a load-bearing wall, or you need to replace more than four or five bricks, you may need to obtain expert advice before you start.
Once you have checked the above points and you are happy to commence with the brickwork repair, here are the instructions that you will need to get the job done:
The tools that you will need:
- A new brick(s)
- Hammer & chisel
- Hammer drill
- Masonry bit
- Stiff brush
- Pointing tool
Step 1 - Removal of the old brick(s)
This should be a relatively simple task however, the trick is to remove the damaged brick without causing any damage to any surrounding bricks. It's wise to start by drilling a series of holes in the mortar all around the brick.
When you have done this, the brick should start to feel loose. At this point, use a chisel to prise the brick completely free and remove any of the surrounding mortar. Now use a stiff brush to completely remove any remaining dust.
Finally, wet down the area using water - this will prevent the surrounding bricks from sucking out moisture from the mortar.
Step 2 - Replacing the brick
For the best possible end result, you will need to find a brick that exactly matches your wall. However, if your new brick is slightly out colour-wise, it is possible to lighten or darken it to match the wall. Tip: If the brick you have just removed is only damaged on one side, it may be possible to turn it around and use it again.
Start by laying a mortar bed - approx. 2cm thick - along the sides and bottom of the hole. Next, wet your replacement brick and apply mortar to the top and sides of it. Now it's time to place the brick into the hole. At this point, it's normal for some of the mortar to seep out - keep tapping the brick until it sits flush with the rest of the bricks. You can now use a trowel to add further mortar to the joint if necessary and to pack the brick into place.
Step 3 - Clean up and finish
Now your brick is in place, scrape any excess mortar away from the wall - this will compact the joints and provide a straight, weather-proof finish.