How to Repair Brick Steps

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Brick steps.
Brick steps. (Image: http://www.hillsidels.com/album/images/Brick-Steps_jpg.jpg,http://www.freeclipartnow.com/d/10016-2/chisel.jpg,http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/images/ma/marshalltown-brick-trowel-11.jpg,http://www.stunicholls.com/menu/broken_brick.jpg,http://www.clipartguide.com/_small/1386-0807-1816-2915.jpg,http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3632/3346879875_767e82c1e2.jpg)

Loose or broken brick steps often require repair. If you are dealing with cracked or broken bricks, you can repair them individually or replace the broken bricks. Loosened bricks simply need to be fixed back into place.

Things You'll Need

  • Mortar
  • Gloves
  • Latex additive
  • Safety glasses
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Wire brush
  • Brick trowel
  • 3/8-inch pointing tool

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Remove the loose brick. Put on your safety goggles and lightly chip away at the mortar. Vacuum out chunks of mortar, dirt and dust from the cavity until it is clean and debris-free. Remove any mortar from the brick with a wire bristle brush and water. Dampen the cavity with a wet cloth.

Use a chisel to get rid of the mortar.
Use a chisel to get rid of the mortar.

Mix a small amount of mortar with water and latex additive. If you mix too much mortar at once, it will dry out. Smooth a 1/2-inch layer of mortar on the sides of the cavity, and the top and bottom of the brick, with a brick trowel.

A brick trowel.
A brick trowel.

Slide the brick back into the cavity. Use a trowel and pointing tool to pack the oozing mortar. Add additional mortar to the joint.

Clear the mortar and crumbling material from a broken or cracked brick. Chisel the pieces out, then clean the area with a wire brush. Spray down the area with a hose.

Broken bricks can be repaired.
Broken bricks can be repaired.

Fill the crack solidly with mortar and a trowel, just as you would to fill a joint. Make the mortar level with the brick-and-mortar areas around the repair. The mortar will take about a week to cure; spray it with a hose a couple of times a day during the week.

Spray the newly-mortared area with a garden hose.
Spray the newly-mortared area with a garden hose.

Replace a brick completely, if necessary. The replacement brick will be evident, unless you can find an old brick that matches. Follow Steps 1 through 3 to install a new brick.

A new brick is often easily spotted.
A new brick is often easily spotted.
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