How to repair damaged brickwork

Damaged brickwork should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If you're a bit of a DIY buff then replacing a couple of bricks is fairly simple, but if more than four bricks need replacing then get the professionals in, especially if it's a load-bearing wall.

What you'll need:

  • Hammer drill
  • Masonry bit
  • Hammer and chisel
  • Stiff brush
  • Mortar
  • New brick

Step 1: Remove the brick

The trick is to take the worn brick out without causing damage to the surrounding ones.

  1. Try drilling a series of holes in the mortar, which should be easier than bashing it with a hammer and chisel.
  2. When you've gone all the way round, the brick will feel loose – now you can use your chisel to work it free and clear away the left over mortar.
  3. Remove any dust with a stiff brush.
  4. Wet the cleaned area with water (this prevents the surrounding bricks from leeching moisture from the new mortar).

Step 2: The replacement brick

The key to a successful repair is using bricks that exactly match your wall, especially in terms of size.

If your damaged brick is only marked on one side, you can simply turn it around and replace it. If the damaged brick is rotten throughout, shop around until you get an exact match.

You can make the new brick lighter or darker to match the surrounding brickwork.

  1. Lay a mortar bed along the bottom and sides of the hole to about two centimetres thick.
  2. Slide it into place on the wall.
  3. Mortar will ooze out around the edge, but keep tapping it in until it is flush with the other bricks.
  4. Use a trowel to add more mortar to the joint, packing it in to hold the brick in place.

Step 3: Finishing up

  1. Scrape off any excess mortar from the face of the wall.
  2. Run a pointing tool or length of rubber piping firmly along the joints to create a weatherproof, concave finish.