How To Replace Bricks That Have Been Damaged

If you have a brick wall that has some damaged bricks, you might not want to remove the entire wall just to replace those bricks. As long as the brick wall is not solid brick and load-bearing, you should be able to replace the damaged bricks with new ones. Here are some tips for replacing the damaged bricks.

Gather Your Supplies

You will need a variety of supplies in order to remove the old brick and prepare the new brick for installation. You may have some of these items already if you are accustomed to home improvement projects. Others will need to be acquired at your local home improvement store. Items needed for replacing damaged bricks include:

  • Bricks
  • Cold chisel for masonry work
  • Wire brush
  • Hammer
  • Power drill
  • Masonry cutting wheel
  • Joint strike tool
  • Pointing trowel
  • Mortar mix
  • Protective gear

Remove the Old Brick

The first step to replacing damage brick is getting rid of the old brick. Make sure you have put on protective gear before you begin.  At the very least, you will need eye protection and gloves for your hands. Locate the damaged bricks on the brick wall and get out your cold chisel and hammer. You are not removing entire bricks at a time, but small pieces of the bricks. Set the chisel on the brick and pound the other end of the chisel with a heavy hammer. When pieces break off, remove them from the wall and continue until all damaged bricks have been removed. If you are removing several bricks that are connected to each other, work your way from the top to the bottom.

When the bricks have been removed, don't forget to use your chisel to remove the old mortar as well. You need the area to be clean for when you add the new mortar and bricks. Your wire brush will also be useful in removing loose mortar or dirt from the voids.

Prepare the Mortar

Once the voids have been thoroughly cleaned, it is time to mix the new mortar. The instructions on the mortar mix and pigment you purchased will give detailed instructions. Since different mortar might have varying instructions, it is important to read them and follow along exactly. It usually involves putting the dry mortar in a paddle-type mixer and adding water, then mixing it thoroughly. Remember pigment is only needed if you plan to change the color of the mortar in order to match the current mortar on your brick wall. You may need to experiment before you get the right shade.

Once the mortar has been mixed and the pigment is to your liking, get out your pointing trowel and start adding some of the mortar to the void. You want it on the top, bottom and sides of each opening. You will use a buttering technique when adding mortar.

Add the New Brick

You are finally ready to add the new bricks to the opening. Be sure you add the brick shortly after adding the mortar so it doesn't dry too quickly. Your brick should be slightly wet when you place it in the opening. This lets it absorb the mortar more easily. Not only should the opening have mortar, but you also want to add it to the edges of the brick. Slide the brick into the void and tap it into place. You will notice some of the mortar get pushed out of the opening when you slide in the brick. Use your pointing trowel to remove excess mortar once the brick is in position. Insert all bricks and wait until the mortar is almost completely dry. Use your wire brush to clean any remaining mortar from the brick wall.

If you need help with the project, look for local contractors that offer masonry restoration and tuckpointing.