Loose or crumbling bricks in the brick porch are an unsightly to behold. Repair the porch by removing the loose bricks and replacing them with new ones. This project is simple enough even for novice do-it-yourselfers.
Tools and Materials
- Safety glasses
- Mallet or Hammer
- Mortar Mix
- New Bricks
- Damp Cloth
- Spray Bottle
- Plastic Sheets
Step 1 – Preparations
Prepare all materials completely to avoid having to stop the work at any time. Determine which bricks need to be replaced. Purchase bricks of the same color and texture from a masonry supply store. Purchase other needed materials as well including mortar mix. Be sure to get one that is intended for brickwork. A pre-mixed mortar is a good recommendation if it is your first time. Portland cement and fine sand can also be combined together to form the mortar that goes around and under the bricks.
Step 2 – Remove the Damaged Bricks
Wear safety glasses to protect the eyes from flying chunks of debris. Use a chisel and a hammer or mallet to remove the mortar around the damaged brick. Strike the brick with the same hammer and chisel to break it down. Remove every piece of the crumbled brick away from the porch. Chip off any remaining mortar from the hole. Clean off the pieces of brick and mortar with a wire brush. Use an air compressor to remove any leftover debris inside the hole, or use a vacuum instead as an alternative.
Step 3 – Mix the Mortar
Place the mortar in the bucket, but leave some in the bag in case too much water is added to the mix. Add water in small quantities at a time while mixing it carefully with a trowel. Add more water until a mud-like consistency similar to that of peanut butter is achieved. If unsure about how consistent the mortar should be, follow the recommended water and mortar proportions in the bag.
Step 4 – Apply the Mortar
Using a trowel, spread about ½ inch or the mortar mix onto the hole bed. Position the brick into the empty slot. If the brick is not level with the others, remove it temporarily and add more mortar into the hole bed until it allows the brick to become level with the surrounding surface.
Center the brick so that the sides are evenly spaced from the other bricks in the porch. Carefully add mortar around the brick using the trowel. Be careful not to drop any mortar onto the top surfaces. If mortar accidentally drops to the brick surfaces, wipe it off as soon as possible with a damp cloth. Repair the other crumbling bricks in the same manner.
Allow the mortar to cure completely for at least 72 hours. Be careful not to step on them for the meantime. Every 6 to 8 hours or so, spray the mortar with water and cover them with plastic sheets to prevent them from drying under direct sunlight. If the mortar dries very quickly, it will crack.