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:May 2001
Chip away the old mortar with a cold chisel or flat
utility chisel. Hold the chisel at a low angle, work it in
under the mortar and hit the chisel with short, light
hammer blows. Dust out the cavity using a whisk broom
and dampen it with water to improve mortar adhesion.
Knock the mortar off the old brick by
holding the chisel at a high angle and
hitting it with rapid, light blows while
moving the chisel tip quickly over the surface of
the hardened mortar. Clean the brick with a
wire brush and rinse it off with water.
of mortar to
the bottom, both
sides of the cavity
and the top of the
brick. Slide the
brick into the cavity.
joints with a brick
trowel and 3/8-in.
wide pointing tool.
Add more mortar by
sliding it directly off
the trowel and into
the joint. Finish the
joint surfaces to
match the shape
of adjacent joints.
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:
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
You'll also need a whisk broom, a soft-bristle brush and waterproof gloves.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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