Mixing bucket and stir stick
Small sharp trowel
Wide board or tarp to cover crack
STEP ONE: MIXING THE MORTAR
If your brick is 50 years old or less, it can be repointed safely with Portland cement-based mortar. However, living in a house built before World War II means that the ideal mortar is likely a mix of lime putty and sand. The importance of using the correct mortar mix is shown in your walls over time, in which without the right mix, the soft brick swells and shrinks against the rock-hard mortar, trapping moisture into its walls and causing the brick faces to pop off.
If you’re struggling to achieve a mortar mix that matches your wall, our professionals can help. The team at SA & SJ Brick Restoration possess the skills and knowledge required to create a mix of mortar that won’t damage your bricks.
STEP TWO: CLEAN AND ENLARGE CRACK
Using a cold chisel and sledgehammer and wearing safety goggles, clean crumbling brick and mortar from the crack. Scrape out the crack, ensuring that it’s clean from dirt and debris. Where the crack runs through a brick, use a brick chisel angled into the crack, widening and undercutting the break. Enlarge the crack to a consistent width and the inside of the crack to its full depth.
Having widened the crack, wire-brush it inside and out to remove debris, flushing it thoroughly with water using a garden hose. Aim for a crack as wide and clean as shown below.
STEP THREE: FILL THE CRACK WITH MORTAR
If the crack only affects a single layer of brick, it can be filled with mortar. Having followed step 1, you’re able to use a mortar that will match your bricks. However, before filling the crack, test the mortar’s colour by spreading a small ounce of it on a scrap of corrugated cardboard – where it will dry quickly and reveal its true colour. If necessary, add mortar colouring until it matches your bricks – use this step to experiment the mortar. Once the test batches the old mortar, mix enough mortar to fill the crack. Before filling, ensure the cleanliness of the gap by spraying it with a hose.
Using a small, sharp trowel, force the mortar into the full depth of the crack. Treat the crack as one long joint, filling cleaned-out joints and the gaps in broken bricks evenly all along the crack.
STEP FOUR: SMOOTH AND BRUSH BRICKS
Once the crack is solidly packed with mortar, smooth out the surface with a jointer and trowel. Even out the surface, matching it with the bricks already there. Finally, when the mortar is firm to tough, brush diagonally across to remove any dry mortar crumbs. Do not brush in line with the joints, as it risks pulling out the fresh mortar.
Let the crack cure thoroughly for at least one week. During the curing period, mist the patched area lightly with a garden hose several times a day. Protect the soft joints from the sun, wind or hard rain with a tarp.
We hope this helps! However, if you didn’t have success or you’re still struggling – leave it to the professionals. We can help. Don’t leave the crack to worsen.
29 Ladbrooke Crescent, DA14 4RU, Sidcup
Call us on: 0208 302 7716 or 07947473542
How to repair cracks in a wall
Is your house exterior beginning to look weathered and decayed? Cracked brick and mortar joints are not only aesthetically displeasing, but can also cause nasty damage to your home, such as water penetration and mould. Your best option is to call the professionals – such as our experts at SA & SJ Brick Restoration Company. Our brick specialists can guarantee a house with bricks that bring back your home’s original beauty, preventing risks of water damage and bacteria growth. However, for those brave enough to undertake DIY methods of repairing a cracked wall should follow our guide, covered throughout this blog.
Before contacting the experts, put your skills and abilities to the test. We will be with you every step of the way – and if all fails, our professionals acquire the expertise and time to fix your wall cracks in the most effective way possible. Whether you use our DIY method or our professional services, don’t leave it too long – cracks will grow wider. Cracks in walls aren’t pretty, and the bigger the crack, the easier it is for pests to slip through. Gross!