Do you have old brick walls that need 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 is 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.

Why Do Old Brick Walls Decay?

Old brick walls decay because they’re old. Putting aside the lame joke, the old brick walls decay due to several reasons. Some of those reasons include the weather’s effect, negligence in repair, poor quality of the materials, and immature workmanship. 

  • Decay of the mortar joints and bricks. It may happen due to the continuous saturation of salt crystallization. 
  • Crumbling or brick faces because of frost action, specifically on parapets and chimney stacks. It may also occur due to the use of cement-based mortar rather than lime-based ones. 
  • Brickwork may get cracked or bulged due to tree root damage or removal of the load-bearing wall.

Maintenance Guide For Old Brick Walls


Replacing Damaged Bricks

You should Only remove bricks that have major damage and replace them with new ones. You will need to cut the brick out from its mortar, and insert the new one gently into the old brick wall. 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.

Hire Help

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.

If you enjoyed our handy article then visit the rest of our blog. We have everything to assist you, from home maintenance to managing finances. Let us help work on getting your property ready for the future, starting today!

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Mashum Mollah
Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drives visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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