Do you have an old wall that needs some TLC? Brick walls are extremely durable, but many people do not realize that even they require maintenance. To keep them looking fresh and solid, you need to know how to do it correctly.
Some maintenance can be done easily by yourself, while some will require professional assistance. Below, we present a must-know guide on old brick walls and repairing them.
Signs of Damage
While brick walls are sturdy and durable, like any product, over time they will deteriorate. You may find that brick that exposed to increased levels of weathering can suffer damage faster than others.
Signs of damage to a wall include crumbling bricks, damp patches, and cracked brickwork. Any sign of moisture, either from the inside, guttering, or visible as mold and mildew, can indicate damaged brickwork. Finally, bulging walls can also count as damaged brickwork, though this can also be a major structural problem, so an expert should inspect it.
Replacing Damaged Bricks
Only bricks that have major damage should be removed and replaced from your old brick wall. You will need to cut the brick out from its mortar, and insert the new one gently. After this, it will require pointing.
You will need to find a brick that matches the old one as closely as possible, and even then it will most probably not have the same weathering. Do not use second-hand bricks, as they may already be weakened over time or not have the correct build quality.
Pointing Repair on Old Brick Walls
Repairing old brick walls is as much about getting the pointing right as it is the brick. When mortar erodes or crumbles away, it can form a shelf that pools water. This then goes into the wall surface and causes damage over time.
Start the old brick wall restoration by removing soft mortar with a screwdriver, to a depth of around 10mm. You will then need to replace it with a suitable lime mortar. This requires skill, and if you are not sure about how to attempt it then consult a professional.
Cleaning Existing Bricks
Brick restoration can be done to a minor degree simply by maintaining the bricks currently on the wall. Firstly, remove any efflorescence, which is visible as white deposits that appear from salt. Do this without water, simply brushing, or vacuuming them off.
After this, remove any mold or mildew. This can be done with a lightly powered jet wash, though only on sturdy walls. If not, get a hard bristled brush and scrub it with a mixture of water and vinegar.
Old brick walls are primarily functional, and leaving them in disarray could result in injury or property damage. That is why it is important that you contact a professional company if you do not feel comfortable doing the repair yourself.
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