Types Of Masonry Repair Your Brickwork May Need

by Diane Barnes

Brickwork, also known as masonry, can be a sturdy and long-lasting construction element. But that doesn't mean it's impossible for brickwork to ever become damaged. In fact, the elements can damage and wear away mortar over time and sometimes even damage the bricks themselves.

Here are some types of masonry repair that your brick wall, patio, or chimney could potentially require.

Brick replacement

In some situations, you may have localized masonry damage, such as a broken brick. A broken brick can occur due to a sharp impact (such as a heavy object falling on the spot). Or freeze-thaw damage can break bricks apart. If this freeze-thaw damage is localized, it may be repairable, as long as you also have weep holes added to prevent further damage.

To replace a damaged brick, your masonry repair expert will first source a new matching brick, then use cutting implements to remove the old brick, and finally mortar a new brick into place. If you have a loose brick instead of a broken brick, your contractor may be able to re-attach the original brick rather than using a replacement brick.

Mortar replacement

Replacing mortar, also called repointing or tuck-pointing, is a process that can help to protect your brickwork from further damage after the old mortar has started to deteriorate. If your masonry work (such as a chimney) shows too much wear, your masonry expert may recommend repointing. Your mortar will likely need replacing once per every two to three decades.

To perform the repointing process, your masonry repair expert will use a special grinding tool to carefully drill out the outer layer of old mortar from between the bricks. Since the mortar further in is not removed, the bricks will stay in place rather than requiring the whole wall to be rebuilt. After removing the debris, your contractor will then re-apply fresh mortar.

Anchoring

If you have a brick wall that's started to bow or lean or is otherwise structurally unsound, your masonry experts may have to repair it by adding structural support. One way to add structural support to a brick wall is adding wall anchors to minimize any further wall movement. Other reinforcement options include carbon fiber strips and steel channels.

These are some of the types of repairs that can help get your old or damaged masonry back to its former glory. Contact your local masonry contractor today to learn more about the best repair and maintenance options for your brick wall, chimney, or patio.

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