Brick is a construction material that has long been valued for strength and durability. From Roman basilicas to Faneuil Hall, buildings made of brick stand the test of time. There's a reason the wolf couldn't blow down the third little pig's house.
But masonry has its weaknesses as well. If a homeowner is looking at crumbling brick or extensive moisture damage, a call to a professional might be in order.
But if your mortar joints, the cement mixture between the bricks, are decaying, you may be able to handle the work yourself. Premium fireplace restoration and rebuilding services maintain the comfort and coziness in cold weather but also complements the look of your home.
Do-it-yourself masonry repair is easier than one might expect and can save significant expense down the road. This quick guide provides info on how to tuck point, a method of replacing bad mortar to preserve and prolong the structural integrity of brickwork.
To start, you'll need a few tools. For power tools, get an angle grinder with a 4-inch or 4.5-inch diamond blade, and a rotary hammer drill with a flat chisel head bit. You'll also need a trowel and a tuck pointer, a flat blade that presses new mortar into the joints.
To finish the repair, you'll need a joint raker or similar tool to smooth and shape the wet paste. Finally, you'll need a bag of mortar mix and a bucket to mix it in. With these in hand, you're ready to tackle your masonry repair project.
Start off by identifying the extent of the problem. A good test is to take a house key and scratch it across the joints between the brick. Solid mortar won't crumble, but if it comes out in chunks, it needs to be replaced.
Once you've got an idea of the scope of the project, use the angle grinder to make a horizontal cut above and below each joint. With the bad sections cut loose, use the hammer drill to work through the grooves and chisel them out of the wall. Clean out the new grooves with a stiff paintbrush.