Each brick on a home provides the character that shows the hard work of a mason who carefully placed each brick. These structures can last for over a century if they are properly maintained, or fall apart in a decade if damages go unnoticed. The costs associated with replacing damaged sections of brick far exceeds the costs associated with maintaining the structure.
It is more important to maintain your home if you live in a harsh climate with long winters and hot summer. To prevent brick damage in your home it’s important to understand how the damage occurs, how to fix damaged bricks, and how tuck pointing will ensure the bricks will stay sturdy for many years to come.
Damage on brick occurs, because the material will expand and contract depending on the temperature. This expansion and contraction will create microcracks that will eventually spider out and crack an entire brick. Even the smallest crack can create serious problems during the winter months. When temperatures drop below freezing and the moisture trapped inside crack will expand and break the structure even more. This can lead to an increased stress load on the surrounding bricks that may cause a chain reaction that destroys a large section of your wall. If bricks become damaged on your home do not try to fix them yourself unless you have previous experience working with brick. Masons study the trade for many years to perfect their skill and an unskilled homeowner could end up causing more damage to the home. If there is damage call a brick mason immediately!
For those of you who feel confident enough to replace a broken brick, you should follow a few simple steps to ensure the job is done right. First, you will want to identify the damaged brick and inspect the surrounding bricks for signs of damage. You should soak your replacement brick for an hour before installing it, so the moisture of the mortar won’t be absorbed by the brick.
To remove the damaged brick, you will want to drill several small holes close together in the mortar around the brick. You will gently chip at the holes with a chisel to knock out the brick. Once it’s removed you will chip away all the mortar in the gap where the brick was. You will then spread a generous amount of wet mortar on the base of the hole and spread mortar all over the new brick you are going to install. Once it’s installed you should spray it down with water every few days to ensure enough moisture for the mortar to set properly.
Tuck pointing is a process of sealing joints on a brick house to prevent damage and improve the aesthetic appeal of the home by giving it the appearance of perfectly laid bricks. Tuckpointing will seal cracked bricks and prevent the weather from inflicting more damage. This process also improves the structural stability of your home by halting deterioration and reinforcing the joints that hold your home together.