How to Repair/Replace Damaged Bricks

A single damaged brick can be removed and replaced quite easily. If the wall is to be painted is not important to buy a matching brick. If it is not being painted, then see if a builder’ merchant can supply a used brick of the same type. The space (usually 2in.) between the outer and inner leaf of a cavity wall prevents rainwater reaching the inside wall of the house and causing damp problems. If any of the pieces of brick being removed drop into become lodged in the cavity they will form a bridge for rainwater to cross to the inside wall. So be careful when chipping out a brick. Make sure that the line of mortar around the four sides of the hole are also chipped clean, so that fresh mortar can be pressed around the replacement brick.

When chipping out a brick from a solid wall, use a small, sharp cold chisel to clean out the brick and surrounding mortar. If a club hammer and larger brick bolster are  used, it is all too easy to damage the internal brick and for the plaster to be cracked and dislodged from the inner wall.

Repairing Brick How to Repair/Replace Damaged Bricks

Use a cold chisel and club hammer to chip away the damaged brick. Work from the center outwards. It is very important to use a small sharp cold chisel and take out only small pieces of the brick at a time to avoid internal damage in a solid brick wall. ‘Butter’ mortar around the new brick and slide it into the cavity. Tap the brick into its final position by using the handle of the trowel. Take care not to push the brick too far into a cavity wall as it will be difficult to extract. Complete in pointing as before. A continuous crack down a wall can indicate a major fault in the foundations. Get qualified help as repairs will certainly have to be carried out by a professional builder.

Replacing an air-brick: The grid formation of an airbrick allows fresh air to pass through the wall but prevents birds or vermin getting inside. If it is damaged it must be replaced immediately. There are two types of airbricks. The type for a solid wall comprises a brick and louver which are fixed to the outside and inside of the wall respectively. A cavity wall airbrick extends right through the wall. Knock out the damaged airbrick using a cold chisel and club hammer. Work from the center outwards. Remember to see that all airbricks around the house are above path level and not blocked up by solid or any other obstruction piled against them. Blocked vents will prevent the air circulating and can cause wet rot in the ground floor joists and floorboards.

Spread a 1/2in. layer of mortar on the base of the hole and a similar thickness around the new airbrick. Push the brick into the hole and make good the pointing to matches surrounding area.

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