• Share:
How to Reset a Loose Brick

Learn how to clean, reset and tuckpoint loose bricks. A loose brick can ultimately lead to major problems – even a wall collapse – but the fix is simple.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Clean bricks before remortaring

When a brick works loose, you can’t just shove mortar in around it and expect the repair to last. Pull it out and fix it right.

It’ll take you at least 20 minutes to remove a loose brick from a wall and clean off the old mortar from both the wall cavity and brick (Photos 1 and 2). If possible, reuse the old bricks. New brick will never match the texture or aged color of the original.

When resetting bricks, follow these guidelines:

  • Select bagged mortar mix, not sand or concrete mix.
  • Wear safety glasses. Also wear waterproof gloves; mortar contains alkaline chemicals that can burn you.
  • Add latex additive to the water and mix the mortar in a shallow container (like an old dishpan) to the consistency of peanut butter.
  • Mix small batches of mortar. Hot, dry weather and direct sunlight can reduce the viable working time of the mortar from 60 minutes to 30.
  • Immediately clean mortar smears off brick faces using a soft-bristle brush (a wire brush may leave rust marks). If the mortar dries, you’ll have to use chemicals to remove it.

Back to Top

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Hammer
    • Bucket
    • Cold chisel
    • Safety glasses
    • Tuckpointing tool
    • Trowel

You'll also need a whisk broom, a soft-bristle brush and waterproof gloves.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Mortar mix
    • Latex additive

Comments from DIY Community Members

Share what's on your mind and see what other DIYers are thinking about.

1 - 1 of 1 comments
Show per page: 20   All

December 12, 10:43 AM [GMT -5]

Thank you Handyman. Your web site helped me to complete the two most important repairs I had this weekend which also included reparing my roof.

+ Add Your Comment
closeX

Add Your Comment

How to Reset a Loose Brick

Please add your comment
closeX

Log in to My Account

Log in to enjoy membership benefits from The Family Handyman.

  • Forgot your password?
Don’t have an account yet?

Sign up today for FREE and become part of The Family Handyman community of DIYers.

Member benefits:

  • Get a FREE Traditional Bookcase Project Plan
  • Sign up for FREE DIY newsletters
  • Save projects to your project binder
  • Ask and answer questions in our DIY Forums
  • Share comments on DIY Projects and more!
Join Us Today
closeX

Report Abuse

Subject
Reasons for reporting post

Free OnSite Newsletter

Get timely DIY projects for your home and yard, plus a dream project for your wish list!

Follow Us