Brick exteriors on homes can provide a timeless, elegant look. However, brick is like any other housing material in that it can decay with time. But the repair process isn't as easy as slapping on a new coat of paint. There are a few methods for repairing brick depending on the severity of the damage.
Mortar Loose Bricks
If the bricks themselves are sturdy, but a few have come loose, you can simply take the loose bricks out and apply new mortar. Pull out only the bricks that can be removed using your hand, since trying to remove slightly loose bricks can just cause more damage. Use a chisel to remove the old, crumbling mortar that was behind the brick, including any mortar stuck to the sides of adjoining bricks. Mix the mortar and apply according to package directions. You may have to wet the wall ahead of time to prevent the brick from immediately absorbing the mortar.
Note that this technique should only be used by those with some home improvement experience. Removing bricks, applying mortar, and then sticking the brick back in so that it's even with neighboring brick is all harder than it sounds. If you have a two-story house, there's also going to be a lot of tall ladder climbing to reach loose brick that's higher up on the building. If you're not certain you can perform the task, hire a contractor to help. It's better to ask for help now instead of when the project goes wrong and bricks and mortar crash through an upstairs window.
Hire a Masonry Contractor
If the brick damage is significant, call around to find a qualified masonry contractor. The contractor should have past references, professional licensing, and be able to provide you with an upfront cost estimate in a signed contract. Ask the contractor about the length of the project, if materials are included in the costs, and ways to save money on those materials without sacrificing safety or appearance.
Having a professional fix the brick means that the replaced brick will last longer and blend in better with the existing wall. A contractor might cost more upfront, but the results will be worth it in the end.
Fixing brick has no easy solution, but repairs don't have to cost a fortune even if you call a masonry contractor. The repaired brick will improve the appearance of your home and add value for potential future buyers.
For more information, contact E D Masonry Ltd. or a similar company.