16 Jan The Best Ways of Repairing Your House’s Brickwork and Masonry
The walls of your house keep the building up and the weather out. If they’re not secure, they may be failing to do one or both of these jobs, and they need to be repaired. Methods of repairing will depend to some extent on what type of walls you have (brick, stone, cavity etc.) but many approaches will be similar for all types.
Repairing Eroded Brickwork
Some brickwork erosion can give an older house a charming period look, but there’s a risk of damp getting inside. If the outside layer of bricks is eroded away, exposing the softer interior, the gaps can be filled in with lime mortar containing enough brick dust to match the colour of the surrounding bricks. Sealants can be used, but many sealants will trap moisture inside, increasing the risk of damp.
Severe damage could make it necessary to replace sections of the wall. This would be a major job for one of the main walls of the building, but freestanding walls, such as roof parapets, can be rebuilt far more easily. It’s important not only to match the new bricks to the originals, but also to use the same bricklaying techniques so it doesn’t look untidy.
Repairing Cracked Walls
If you have cracks in your outside walls, it’s vital to call in a structural engineer to identify the cause and extent of the problem. If the damage is too great to be corrected by removing the cause, the engineer will recommend the best approach for the situation.
If the cracks are horizontal, this may involve cavity wall tie replacement, but vertical cracks often require removal and replacement of the damaged bricks or stones. Alternatively, you can drill holes along the crack and inject them with thixotropic resin grout, then use the coloured mortar method to cover the repairs.
Repointing Your Walls
Mortar tends to get soft and crumble over time. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but if gaps between bricks are deep enough for water to collect, they need repointing.
First, take out the existing mortar to a depth of 20mm, and then spray the interior lightly with water. Fresh mortar can be pushed into the gap, scraping it flush with the wall as it starts to harden.
Get a Professional In
Most of these jobs aren’t for amateurs, though an expert DIYer may be capable of jobs like repointing. Some, such as replacing cavity wall ties, are absolutely for specialists only.
Feel free to contact us for advice about any repairs your walls may need.