How to Fix Cracks in Brick Facades on Your House
One of the easiest ways to class up the look and enhance any home’s value is to have a brick facade installed. A facade is a single layer of brick that is installed over the existing structural components of your home. Its sole purpose is to enhance the look of the building. However, when cracks happen in the bricks, it can diminish the look of your home quickly. Here are some helpful tips for fixing those cracks quickly.
Check the Source of the Damage
The first step in this process is figuring out exactly what has caused the damage. If you suspect that your foundation has shifted, then you must immediately contact a foundation repair company. That type of damage can also be caused by shifting soil that must be reinforced. Failing to treat the underlying cause of the damage could result in some major structural problems down the road.
Start By Removing Old Mortar
The brick facade will be installed with a mortar compound. In order to properly patch the crack, you will need to remove as much of the damaged mortar as possible. Even if the mortar around the crack doesn’t seem to be severely damaged, it probably isn’t structurally sound. Many different implements can be used to break off excess mortar, and you need to be sure that you don’t damage any of the surrounding bricks. You can utilize a chisel and other similar tools to remove this mortar. If you notice that the brick has more than one layer, there’s a good possibility it’s not a facade. You should contact a foundation repair expert for further assistance if this is the case.
Wet the Brick
Wetting the brick is an essential step. It allows the bricks to suck up moisture. This is imperative as you don’t want the bricks sucking up the moisture in your mortar mix. That can lead to a dry mortar that easily cracks. Instead, take the time to water your bricks entirely before proceeding to the next step. This is a make it or break it step that many newbies forget to perform.
Patch the Joints
Once the site is clean and all of the unwanted mortar has been removed, you can then patch the joint. Now, since your bricks are all wet, it’s time to mix up your mortar. Make sure that you purchase a mortar in your desired color as you don’t want to contrast the existing mortar in your facade. Patch up all the joints where you removed the mortar. You’ll want to finish each joint off with a pointer. This is simply a tool that you push into the joint to flatten out the mortar. It gives the brick facade a nice finished look. Fixing cracks in the brick facade is fairly easy to do. Most do-it-yourself homeowners can manage this type of repair if they follow the steps above. Make sure that you do this on a decent day, where you’re not dealing with any inclement weather that can affect your patchwork’s end result.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan