Spalling brick is a type of brick damage that can happen on any type of brick in and around your home. You may find spalling brick on the exterior of your house, on your patio bricks, your foundation, or any other brick structures. Fixing spalling brick is important to avoid more serious damage. In this article, you will learn 5 steps for spalling brick repair. To learn more about fixing damaged bricks, contact the experts at Royal Masonry now!
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What is Spalling Brick?
A Minor Example of Spalling Brick Image source: buyersask.com A More Serious Example Of Spalling Brick Image source: Prugarinc.com
Before we get into each step for spalling brick repair, it’s important to understand exactly what spalling brick is.
Spalling brick is a common form of brick damage. “Spalling” may sound complicated, but it is just a term used to describe the flaking, crumbling, peeling or popping off of pieces from the brick’s surface.
How Does Spalling Brick Occur?
Spalling occurs when water absorbs into the brick. This moisture can come from rain, snow, or even the wet soil found around your home.
Water can enter in a number of ways. For example, during our cold Canadian winters, the moisture absorbed inside the brick can freeze and then expand.
When this happens, it can eventually lead to cracks in the brick or damage on the brick’s surface. With repeated freezing and thawing, the fractures widen until the brick actually begins to fall apart.
Spalling brick can even occur in warm climates, where freezing and thawing is not a problem. It can happen if bricks are improperly made or overly porous.
However, due to the nature of spalling, it is a more common problem in cold climates, such as Ontario. It is also a more common issue in areas with many brick structures as opposed to other building materials.
Spalling Brick Repair Infographic
Check out this super simple infographic to learn more about spalling brick repair! If you would like to learn about brick repair in a bit more detail, we will go over each step below.
5 Steps for Spalling Brick Repair
If you notice that your bricks are beginning to show the signs of spalling, you can take the following 5 steps found at ProConstructionGuide.com to replace the damaged bricks.
#1 – Identify the Source of Moisture
Efflorescence (white colouring on the bricks) indicates moisture has seeped through bricks Image source: Askwetandforget.com
The first and most important step is finding the source of moisture and working towards fixing it. You will need to figure out what is causing the damage in the first place, so it doesn’t continue after you’ve put all this effort in to fix it!
Without completing this step, you may find yourself back at square one within a short period of time. Remember, if you aren’t sure the source of moisture or what to do about it, you can always count on the experts to help you out.
#2 – Remove Your Damaged Bricks
Removing damaged bricks using a chisel Image source: Yourhomemagazine.co.uk
For this next step, you will ned a few different materials. You can use a chisel, hammer, or power drill with a masonry cutting wheel to being removing your spalling bricks. With your chisel, you should carefully work to extract the old mortar.
#3 – Clean the Opening
Use a brush like the one above to clean your bricks and the opening Image source: Vandersandengroup.co.uk
Once you have removed the damaged bricks, you will be left with openings in your wall. These openings will likely be full of dirt, dust, and debris from regular wear-and-tear as well as the work you are doing!
Carefully clean out the opening where the old brick was. Remove all of the dirt and dust using a wire brush. Thoroughly rinse out the opening with water.
#4 – Install Your Next Bricks
Spreading mortar using a trowel in preparation for the new brick Image source: Yourhomemagazine.co.uk
Mix your mortar and have it handy in a large wheelbarrow. If you don’t have a wheelbarrow, you can also use a sturdy bucket.
With your trowel, gather mortar. Butter the back and side of the clean opening with fresh mortar. Slide your new brick into the hole and apply additional mortar around it.
When it comes to DIY repairs, this is the part that many homeowners find the most challenging. Adding the additional mortar cleanly around the new brick requires quite a bit of skill. If you want a more professional, seamless finished look you may wish to contact a professional.
#5 – Cure the Mortar
Over the next three days, your mortar will still be settling in. You should do your best to avoid disturbing it while it settles. During this time however, you should cure the mortar. You an do this by misting it according to Proconstructionguide.com.
Spalling Brick Repair – A How-To Video
If you prefer learning how to do new things by watching instead of reading, this great quick and simple video by U-Can will teach you how to repair spalling brick safely and efficiently at home.
Looking for more information? You can also find out about how much it costs to repair spalling bricks as well as the pros and cons of DIY vs working with professionals here!
Work With The Masonry Professionals Today!
The team at Royal Masonry has built a solid reputation for superior customer service and the highest quality stone masonry craftsmanship in Southern Ontario. Our mission is to provide you with the best quality workmanship at the right price. You can be certain that we will get the job done right the first time.
Our professional approach and superior customer service mean that you can relax in the knowledge that your project is in safe hands. Trust the experts at Royal Masonry with any masonry service you require. Contact us today and find out for yourself why our customers highly recommend us to their friends and family.