Tips on repairing masonry damage
Angie's List gives tips on how to repair cracked brick both internally and externally. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Ploehn)
Many homes boast beautiful brick interiors, personalized stone walkways or perfectly paved concrete driveways and sidewalks.
But as we all know, repairs and maintenance comes along with the beauty of homeownership. If cracks or other damage begins to appear in your masonry, take a minute to assess the damage to see if it able to be repaired by a Charlotte masonry contractor.
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If the damage is small, there are certain ways you can fix the issue yourself using the right tools and a little elbow grease.
- If it’s a small crack in the brick, you might be able to perform a quick fix on the problem by “repointing” your mortar.
- Clean any debris – including excess mortar – with a cold chisel and a sledgehammer. Enlarge the crack enough so that it is uniform in width, and then clean out the crack with a wire brush flushing with water.
- Following the manufacturer’s directions on the packaging, mix brick mortar using the correct water ration and add whatever coloring you may need to match your wall. Spray the crack with a garden hose and then spread the mortar in the crack with a trowel.
- Let your repair cure for about one week. The good news is there is no need to be obsessed with perfection.
- Preventing cracking in a masonry wall is best done at design and construction time.
- Make sure you and your builder select quality building materials, including mortar or concrete. Good building design and construction techniques, such as avoiding construction during extreme temperatures, will help minimize future damage.
- There are only two ways to battle the settling and cracking of your walls – minimizing and accommodating movement. Your builder may elect to use expansion joints to segment a brick wall into smaller sections. These expansion joints, whether vertically or horizontally incorporated, will aid the wall in adjusting to settling and movement.
- You can identify clues as to whether you may have cracked brick or a more serious problem with your house’s foundation.
- Look for uneven or sloping floors, doors or windows that no longer operate properly, walls that appear to be separating from the rest of the structure and the separation of doors, windows or garage doors.
If the problem is beyond your scope of expertise or seems serious in nature, your Charlotte masonry contractor might be able to help determine the issue and recommend the best repair method.