Repairing brick walkway


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Old 05-13-20, 02:31 PM
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Repairing brick walkway

I have a brick walkway that is crumbling, we think due to the previous owners using salt on it. My wife and I got some estimates that honestly are probably fair, but more than we are prepared to spend, so we decided to try to tackle it ourselves. We have all the bricks up, revealing a thick, heavy base that appears to be compacted stone or mortar. I had trouble getting through it with a sledgehammer and a hammer drill. So, wed like to repair the base and lay the bricks or new pavers on top of it. Its a raised base, so we cant really use sailors, so we were going to mortar 2 rows of bricks along the sides and then lay bricks with sand in the middle. The trouble is, some portions of the edges of the base have broken. I was planning to repair the broken portions with concrete before laying the new bricks and mortar on top of it. Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Ive never done any concrete before, so do you have any pointers on what type of concrete or mortar we should use? Thanks for any help you can offer, I really hope we can do this ourselves!
 
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Old 05-13-20, 07:36 PM
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I had trouble getting through it with a sledgehammer
So the foundation does not appear to be an issue, why are you tearing it up?
 
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Old 05-14-20, 03:53 AM
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Sorry, I should have clarified. The end of the walk splits into 2 legs to go around a flowerbed. I was planning on removing one of the legs and enlarging the flowerbed. When I saw how tough that would be, I decided to just leave it as it is rather than renting a jackhammer.
 
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Old 05-14-20, 07:01 AM
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Does this sound like a reasonable approach?
Basically, so it appears you have a solid base, any repairs can be done with any of the quickrete products, remove broken or loose elements.
You dont mention your area but mortaring they edges may not hold up especially if your in a an area withe freeze thaw conditions but could use a tile latex fortified mortar, it will be about the strongest bonding material, more so than conventional mortar.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Custom-B...MG50/205789819
 
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Old 05-14-20, 07:23 AM
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Where are you located?

If you have a solid base I would mortar all the bricks in place. I would also not mortar just the edge bricks and then use sand in the middle. With a solid base this will trap water. When the wet sand and water under the bricks freezes and expands it can push and break the edge bricks free. So, it's better to make it one solid masonry mass or tear it all up and install a compacted crushed stone base that can drain water through, place your bricks and sand the joints.
 
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Old 05-14-20, 02:11 PM
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I’m in northern Baltimore County in MD. Again, I apologize, I’m not explaining very well. Only the edges of the base are solid, the inside is just sand and very (VERY) compacted stone. I’m pretty sure the previous owners only mortared the edge bricks. If they used mortar in the interior, it must have crumbled to dust. Most of the bricks on the interior I could pull up by hand. That makes sense what you said about freeze/thaw. That could explain why it started crumbling in the first place. I did not know about the latex fortified mortar, thank you for the suggestion!
 
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Old 05-14-20, 02:27 PM
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In a northern climate do not mortar anything, it will not survive!

You need to have a drainage through the bricks so that water will not freeze.

You could use edging to keep bricks in place but Ive had it for pavers and eventually removed with no ill effect.

You can even add dirt up to the level of the bricks which will hold them in place.

 
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Old 05-17-20, 07:29 PM
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Thanks guys! I re-evaluated it, and I think I can use sailors. Taking your advice, I’m not going to mortar anything, though I’m going to backfill the sailor trench with concrete. I’m pretty sure I can just use stone dust for the walk. The base I’m working on is very well packed. The only thing that concerns me is that in some parts I’m going to have to use more stone dust to make up for unevenness in the base, so I’m going to have to be sure to pack it well. Is a plate compactor mandatory, or do you think a hand tamper will be sufficient?
 
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Old 05-17-20, 10:30 PM
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All depends on the extent of repairs, plate compator will cost a bit to rent, PITA to move around, a hand tamper will work fine for small areas!
 
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Old 05-18-20, 03:58 AM
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Yes, I looked at one for rent at True Value, thinking I’d be able to lift it into the back of my Highlander. HAHAHAHAHA, nope. If a plate compactor’s main advantage is convenience for doing a large area quickly, then my walk is not big enough to justify it to me at least.
 
 

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