replacing brick on step

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Old 01-29-13, 07:17 PM
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replacing brick on step

I have a brick paver walkway (set in sand) that leads to an area that has only one step to a higher landing (also set in sand). The bricks making up the step have an overhang of about 1/3 of each brick. So, only 2/3 of each brick was laid using what appears to be mortar. Three have fallen out after just three years. I have no idea why they would break loose. Is it possible that the mortar mix was too weak or it was too hot / cold outside, etc? Regardless, I plan to reinstall and I would like to knwo the best product to use to insure this will not happen again. Should I switch to an some type of glue or epoxy rather than try to chissel off the mortar from the three bricks and start over?
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Old 01-29-13, 09:53 PM
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It sounds like your bricks are cantilevered too much. One-third projecting means each brick has forces acting on the rear of it, wanting to lift it (and the surrounding mortar) up when the front of the brick is pushed downward (stepped on). Do yourself a favor, and reduce the cantilever distance to an inch or less, such that step loading applies just simple compression, rather than alternating compression and tension. Meaning you need to remove and reset all of the bricks in new mortar, after you shorten them with either a saw or brickset. If you just repair the 3 loose ones now, you'll be doing more repairs in the future.

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