How to Repair Masonry

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Before you attempt to fix a crack in a brick, block or stone wall, determine the cause of the crack. This may be a job for a pro.

Things You'll Need

  • Builders Sand
  • Masonry Hawks
  • Garden Hoses And Attachments
  • Pointing Trowels
  • Limes
  • Shallow Buckets
  • Cement
  • Cold Chisels
  • Mallets
  • Masonry Blades
  • Look closely where you see cracks forming.

  • Suspect moisture as the culprit if the cracks appear in the mortar along the joints of the bricks, blocks or stonework.

  • See if you can find out where the moisture is coming from and investigate ways to stop it. Remember that unless you treat the cause, the repair will only be temporary.

  • Consult a foundation professional if the bricks themselves are cracked - this could be a sign of foundation problems. If it's just one brick, it may be defective, and you can replace it.

  • Contact a foundation professional if the crack is long and continuous. This type of crack indicates movement of the wall.

  • Plan to replace the mortar ('re-point') if the cracks appear along the joints of the bricks. If the repair is fairly small, you may be able to do it yourself without having to call in a professional.

  • Use a cold chisel and mallet to knock out the mortar to a depth of about 1/2 inch.

  • Wet the area thoroughly with a hose. The brick should be soaked so that it won't leach the water from the mortar and cause it to crumble.

  • Mix your mortar in a shallow bucket: one part cement, one part lime, six parts builders' sand. Alternatively, consider buying premixed mortar if the repair is small.

  • Scoop a little bit of mortar with a pointing trowel and create a small cylindrical shape with it.

  • Press this cylinder into the area between the bricks. Hold a masonry hawk or piece of cardboard under the area where you're working to catch falling mortar - it takes some practice to keep the mortar in the groove.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful not to get mortar on the brick faces.

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