Disintegrating Clay Brick against Stair

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Old 08-24-14, 06:39 AM
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Disintegrating Clay Brick against Stair

Hi,

I have clay brick on my house. In 2000, I had a pool and patio built in my backyard. The patio included a step to get down from the sliding door rear exit. That step was built against the two bottom rows of brick on the house wall in order to provide the correct riser height. The step consists of man made stone filled with stone dust which is covered with interlocking pavers. The pavers are made from concrete but the house bricks are made from clay.

The clay bricks have disintegrated slowly over the years. I was not aware of this possibility before building the step as is, but am not sure that I had many options anyways. I think what is happening is that, since the step faces south, ice and snow from the winter collect there, then melt penetrating the pores of the clay brick, then freezing causing the brick to spall. Some bricks are now broken off about halfway across so the holes in the middle show. I need to effect some repair, but am looking for ideas. I would prefer a lasting repair, so, simply replacing the bricks in kind does not cut it. Finding bricks made of concrete to resist this deterioration that will match or blend in is next to impossible.

I am trying to attach a pair of photos to show the situation, but they keep failing. I'll keep trying after the post.

Thanks for all ideas.

quickcurrent
 
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Old 08-24-14, 06:46 AM
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After chopping down the size of the photos, the uploads worked. Here they are.

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Old 08-24-14, 08:27 AM
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I would remove enough of the pavers to get at the damaged section & remove whatever is deteriorated. Since you can't find matching bricks, I would use more pavers to extend the patio under the door & build it to the correct height. If you don't want to use pavers, a slab or two of blue stone might work.
 
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Old 08-25-14, 06:28 PM
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Thanks, Pulpo, but the step is the correct height now, it divides the total height between the sliding door and the patio in half. The patio is below the step built of stone, stone dust filler, and pavers. The original photos showed the situation better but I had to chop them down to enable uploading, due to the very high resolution of the originals.

I'm not sure what blue stone is or how it would be used. Can you shed more light on that idea? I'd obviously have to remove the step (perhaps in its entirety) temporarily to get at the wall behind it and remove all loose brick, perhaps even chip away at the bricks to accommodate a new material. What I am not sure is what to use that will look good. My wife suggested mortared field stone over the bricks, but I think that would look sloppy!
 
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Old 08-25-14, 06:39 PM
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I found this on the Internet, but not sure if that stone is available locally and if it will withstand the freeze cycles better than clay brick. This is going to be a laborious project so I want it to last.

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Old 08-25-14, 07:09 PM
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I wasn't suggesting that you change the height of the step. The work I described would be done under the stone just below the door. Upload the pics to photobucket, if you can't post them here & post the link.
 
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