For the safety of the people living in your household and your visitors, keeping your brick steps in good repair is very important. Loose, broken or missing bricks cause many injuries every year. A little easy and quick maintenance can help reduce these injuries. It is a good idea to consistently do a visual inspection on all your brick steps and perform preventive maintenance on those areas that may be a safety hazard. You can repair your brick steps in no time with the right equipment and a little time.
Replacing a Brick
Sometimes it will be necessary to replace a missing brick in your step structure. It is best to try and find a brick that matches the bricks that make up your steps. Otherwise, the newer brick will stand out like a sore thumb.
Step 1 - Remove the Damaged Brick
With your safety goggles and gloves on, use your chisel to chip away at the existing mortar. Use your shop vacuum to remove the pieces of mortar and other debris from the space until it is completely clean and smooth. Take your wire brush and water to get the surface clean. You will need to dampen the space with your wet cloth.
Step 2 - Place Mortar in the Clean Space
Now mix a small amount of mortar, water, and latex additive together. Keep in mind that if you make to much of the mixture at one time, you face the possibility of it drying out. With the brick trowel, place the mortar into the empty space smoothing it out to a 1/2 inch layer. Now take your replacement brick and smooth mortar on the top and bottom of it.
Step 3 - Brick Placement
Take the brick and place it into the empty space. You will use the trowel and the pointing tool to pack the mortar and add more mortar as necessary to the joint.
Step 4 - Wet the Repaired Area
Now that the replacement brick is installed, wet the repair area with a garden hose. It will take approximately a week for the mortar to completely cure. The job is complete.
Repairing a Broken Brick
You will find that sometimes it is not necessary to replace a broken brick. You can repair the brick and save a little time in the process.
Step 1 - Remove Existing Mortar
With a chisel, start to lightly chip away at the existing mortar being careful not to chip too hard to damage any other part of the step.
Step 2 - Clean the Area
Use a wired brush to clean away the dust and debris from the area. Once done, spray the area with a garden hose.
Step 3 - Repair the Brick
Take our brick trowel and mortar and fill the crack just as you would fill a joint. The trick here is to make the mortar even with the rest of the brick and mortar area. The mortar will take about a week to cure. Be sure to wet the area around 2 times a week.