How to Repair Water Damaged Spalling Bricks - 5 Easy Steps

In this blog post, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to repair water damaged spalling bricks. We will also define what spalling is, what causes it and give you some tips on how to prevent it. If you notice that any of the bricks on your property are beginning to flake, crumble, or fall apart, you will need to replace them as soon as possible or hire a professional to do it for you. If you are looking for a stone masonry company in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, why not contact the professionals at Royal Masonry?  We know masonry and can replace spalling bricks expertly and affordably.

 

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What Causes “Spalling”?

When a brick starts to fall apart as evidenced by a flaking surface and begins to literally disintegrate, this is known as spalling. Spalling occurs when moisture from rain, melting snow, or even wet soil saturate and penetrate the brick. When the moisture inside the brick freezes, it expands and begins to crack the brick. With repeated freezing and thawing, the fractures widen until the brick actually begins to fall apart.

Where Are You Most Likely To Get Spalling?

Water can seep into brick through recessed mortar joints. Spalling is more likely to occur around leaky windows, gutters, damaged chimneys, around doors or stairs, on the lower half of walls, and any other place where moisture can get behind the bricks. According to theFamilyHandyman.com another typical place where spalling may occur is in basements and around the foundation where the bricks come in contact with the moist soil.

The following video talks about why bricks spall and will show you what it looks like.

Prevent Spalling Before It Happens

The best way to deal with spalling is to prevent it before it occurs. The best and one of the easiest ways to do this is to apply a masonry sealant to the bricks which is specially designed to allow the bricks to breathe. You can also prevent spalling by making sure that you have installed proper drainage around the house so that water does not come near the foundation.

How To Repair Spalling And Loose Bricks

If you are too late and spalling is already occurring, you can take the following steps found at ProConstructionGuide.com to replace the damaged bricks.

List of tools and materials needed

  • Hammer
  • Sledgehammer
  • Spade
  • Utility Knife
  • Circular saw
  • Masonry blade
  • Cold chisel
  • Level
  • Trowel
  • Tape measure
  • Extension cord
  • Dust mask
  • Earplugs / protection
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Brick
  • Mortar

How To Repair Spalling Bricks Quick Infographic

5 Steps To Repairing Spalling Bricks

Step 1: Identify and Repair The Source Of The Moisture Causing The Damage.

It doesn’t make sense to repair the damaged bricks until you have located and solved the problem that caused the water damage in the first place.

Step 2: Remove the Damaged Bricks.

Use a chisel, hammer, or power drill with a masonry cutting wheel to remove the spalling or loose bricks. Use your chisel to extract the old mortar as well.

Watch the following video to see how individual damaged bricks are removed and replaced.

Step 3: Clean The Opening.

Carefully clean out the opening where the old brick was. Remove all of the dirt and dust using a wire brush. Thoroughly rinse out the opening 

Step 4: Install The New Bricks.

Butter the back and side of the clean opening with fresh mortar. Slide your new brick into the hole and apply additional mortar around it. This is probably the most difficult step in the process. Trying to get the additional mortar cleanly around the new brick requires skill. If you want a more professional, seamless finished look you may wish to contact a professional.

Step 5: Cure The Mortar.

For the next 3 days, you should cure the mortar by misting it according to Proconstructionguide.com.

What If You Don't Want To "Do-It-Yourself"?

Replacing damaged 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.

Sources

Common Causes Of Spalling Bricks & How To Fix Crumbling Masonry

How To Replace Spalling Bricks

Tips for Replacing Spalling Bricks