How to Repair Loose Bricks in Brick Walkways

Loose bricks can become a common problem over time when it comes to brick walkways. Not only are they unsightly, they can also become a hazard when they are in a high-traffic area where people are likely to trip over them. Brick walkways are constantly exposed to elements such as rain and wind, which eventually wears down the mortar between the bricks and results in bricks becoming loose. When repairing loose bricks, this mortar needs to be replaced with a fresh batch in order to secure the previously loose bricks in place. The process is not very labor intensive, though care must be taken to mix only the amount of new mortar needed for this type of repair project. This will depend on the number of loose bricks in your walkway.

What You Will Need:

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Small brush or Wisk broom
  • Mortar mix
  • Sand
  • Sponge
  • Small mixing bucket
  • Mortar bag with application tip
  • Jointer

Step 1 -- Chip Away Old Mortar

Hold one end of your chisel against the mortar of each loose brick and carefully tap the other end with your hammer. Be careful not to rush this step since this often causes bricks to chip, which will make the problem worse if you intend to use the same ones with the new mortar. It is not necessary to remove any bricks unless you intend to replace them with new ones. You will be applying the new mortar in the spaces between the bricks.

Step 2 -- Clean Up And Mix New Mortar

Brush away any dust and debris from the old chipped-away mortar with a small cleaning brush that has stiff bristles; a Wisk broom also works well for this step. Mix together your new mortar in the bucket with the proper amounts of sand and water specified in the manufacturer's recommendations. For this type of mortar for joints between bricks, it is often recommended to mix higher ratios of sand to powdered mortar mix.

Step 3 -- Fill Mortar Bag

Mortar bags for these types of brick walkway repairs can be found at most hardware stores. As an alternative, you can use a baker's icing bag as long as you make sure it is large and durable enough. Select the appropriate size application tip to fit in well enough to fill the needed spaces with the new mortar mixture.

Step 4 -- Apply Mortar and Tap Bricks in Place

Fill in the joints of the bricks with the newly mixed mortar; be sure to work quickly because mortar begins to thicken and cure in a relatively short amount of time. Also be careful not to squeeze too hard on the mortar bag and overfill the spaces between bricks. It is a good idea to keep a sponge or wet cleaning rag handy to immediately clean off any excess mortar that may get onto the bricks. Once you have filled in the correct amount of mortar, gently tap the bricks in place with the jointer. Allow the mortar at least 24 to 48 hours to completely harden before walking over this newly repaired area of your brick walkway.