How To Repair Brick Face Peeling

Like our skin, bricks can become damaged and start to peel from the harmful effects of the elements, especially water. You can learn how to repair brick face peeling with a few easy-to-follow steps, even if you are a beginner. If the damage is extensive, however, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a professional stone mason. For any type of masonry work, you can trust the professionals at Royal Masonry. If you would like a free consultation or quote, contact Royal Masonry today.

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What Causes Brick Face Peeling?

Over time, bricks can begin to flake or peel. This is known as spalling. Most often, spalling is caused when moisture from rain, melting snow or even damp soil comes into contact with your bricks and starts to penetrate the surface. Once the moisture is trapped inside the brick and the temperature drops, the water freezes and therefor expands. Later, when the temperatures warm up, the water thaws and contracts. This moving back and forth from the constant freezing and thawing will eventually begin to crack the brick and cause the peeling or spalling. For more information about spalling, read our post How To Repair Water Damaged Spalling Bricks.

The following video demonstrates how bricks easily absorb water and why they start to peel.

Problem Areas To Watch For Peeling Bricks

Some of the more common areas to check for peeling bricks include:

  • around leaky windows
  • along gutters
  • in damaged chimneys
  • around doors or stairs
  • on the bottom half of walls
  • in basements
  • around the foundation where bricks touch moist soil
  • any place where moisture can go behind the bricks

How To Repair Brick Face Peeling

Spalling or peeling usually occurs in relatively small areas of walls and chimneys, so the most common method of fixing this problem is to replace the individual damaged bricks.

Step 1: Discover And Fix The Source Of The Problem

It is strongly recommended that you determine the source of the problem before you begin any repairs. You don't want to invest a lot of time and money fixing a problem if it is just going to happen again. If the cause was water building up around your foundation, then make sure you install proper drainage around your home. If the cause of the moisture was improperly sealed bricks, then make sure that you seal them once the repair is finished. The following video will show you how to properly seal your bricks to prevent spalling.

Step 2: Determine The Extent Of The Damage

Determine how many bricks need to be replaced. If the number is relatively small, 3-4 bricks, then you can probably tackle this yourself at one point in time. If the damage, however is quite extensive, it may be a good idea to seek the help and or advice of a professional stone mason.

Step 3: Gather Your Materials

Before you begin to repair your bricks, doityourself.com recommends that you gather the following tools and materials:

  • Cold Chisel
  • Drill
  • 6-8 mm Masonry Bit
  • Mortar - choose one that matches the existing mortar
  • Club Hammer
  • Sharp trowel
  • Replacement bricks that match the original brick
  • Water
  • Protective goggles

Step 4: Cut Out The Peeling Brick

The following video shows how to remove bricks using a drill. Read on below to see how to remove them manually.

Start by scraping the mortar out from around the damaged brick and remove it using a cold chisel and club hammer. If that doesn't work, doityourself.com suggest drilling holes with a 6 to 8 mm masonry bit into the brick itself. Using a cold chisel and hammer, crumble the brick down. Remove all of the pieces of brick and clean the space, making sure no scraps are left behind. Carefully clean out the space with a wire brush and thoroughly rinse it with water.

Step 5: Apply The Mortar

Dampen the hole with water if it is dry. Apply mortar evenly to the base and all the other sides of the space with a sharp trowel. Carefully slide the replacement brick in place. Tap it until it lines up with the adjoining bricks. With your trowel handle, try to make the new mortar look similar in appearance to the rest of the wall. The following video will show you how to replace an individual brick.

Additional Tips

Ask for advice from your home improvement store about which type of mortar would be best for the job you are doing. You want it to match as closely as possible to the old mortar. You can choose from

  • Porter cement based
  • Mixture of lime and sand
  • Ready to use

If you notice brick face peeling beginning on any of your stonework around your home, make sure you get it fixed before it becomes a big problem. The following video shows some deterioration of bricks on a chimney that hasn't been looked after and which needs repairs.

Want To Hire A Professional To Do The Repair?

Replacing damaged peeling bricks is not for everyone. If you would prefer to have a professional handle the job for you, contact the master stone masons at Royal Masonry. Royal Masonry has built a solid reputation for the highest quality workmanship at the most reasonable rate. Come see us today for all of your masonry requirements.