Brick exteriors add to the value and beauty of a home; however, just because brick is durable and low-maintenance does not mean that you will never have repairs. A few chips in some of the bricks can add a weathered appeal to a brick home but deep cracks or loose or missing bricks allow moisture to enter that could cause further damage to the exterior walls. Replacing a broken or missing brick in the exterior wall of your home is a simple repair that requires only a few tools and a couple hours of your time.
The tools needed to repair or replace a brick are a cold chisel, small hammer, wide brick chisel, sharp trowel, mortar jointer, wire brush, stiff scrub brush, bucket and garden hose. The supplies you need can be found at your local hardware or home improvement store: replacement brick or bricks, mortar mix and mortar coloring (if the existing mortar has been tinted).
1. Place the new brick in a bucket of water to soak while you remove the damaged brick.
2. Using the cold chisel and hammer, remove the mortar around the damaged brick by gently tapping the chisel into the mortar with the hammer. Be careful not to damage surrounding bricks. Remove the vertical mortar first and then the horizontal mortar. Remove the loosened brick out of the wall.
3. Remove any existing mortar from the hole with the cold chisel and hammer, wire-brush the cavity to make sure all the debris is removed and then flush with water from the garden hose.
4. Prepare the mortar according to the directions on the package. Test the mortar on an old piece of cardboard to determine if the color matches the existing mortar. If not, add the mortar tint as needed to match the existing mortar.
5. Spray the hole with a fine mist of water to dampen the cavity slightly and spread a thick layer of mortar on the bottom of the cavity.
6. Remove the brick from the bucket of water, shake off excess water and apply mortar to the top and sides of the brick before gently placing the new brick into the opening. Firmly press the new brick into place. If the brick does not align with the existing bricks, add more mortar until the new brick is aligned on each side and flush with the wall.
7. Once the brick is aligned properly and flush with the wall, use the sharp trowel to force mortar around the brick to fill the joints completely. Scrape any excess mortar off the wall with the side of the trowel.
8. Finish the joints with the sharp end of the trowel to make a “V” shape of the end of the brick jointer for a “U” shape.
Your new brick should be completely set and dry in a few days. However, to keep the new mortar from drying too quickly, spray a fine mist over the mortar and new brick several times a day for three days.