• Repairing Broken, Loose or Missing Brick Steps

    old-bricks

    When bricks are loose or missing from a set of steps, it creates a situation that is very dangerous and a liability while marring the appearance of your home.
    Repairing the steps promptly is a top priority in such circumstances. Your options are to research what needs to be done and tackle the work yourself, call a contractor who specializes in brickwork or employ a handyman with good experience for the job.
    This is a job that requires some practice to make the work look professional. If the bricks are in a visible spot, it is recommended that you choose a pro for the work.

    Brick Repair and Replacement Tips

    When brick steps are in good repair, they provide a very attractive approach to your home.
    Our purpose is to help you return your set of stairs to excellent condition, giving your home the appearance you want. To help, we provide tips for DIY brickwork repair including a list of the tools and supplies you’ll need.
    If you’d rather have the work done, we offer a price range for brickwork repair estimates that gives you an idea what to expect. The last section of this house repair guide offers additional resources that give clear direction on doing the job and other helpful information.

    These tips are designed to give you a clear idea of what you’ll run into on this project. They also show what a contractor will do, if you choose that route for brick stairs repair. The tips we give in this guide are similar to those in the guide, “Repairing Mortar On Brick Homes And Chimneys

    • The first thing to do is to remove all loose or damaged bricks and the mortar surrounding them
    • A hammer and chisel are best suited for breaking and removing the mortar around bricks but do be aware in some cases removing the old mortar from aged steps can be a daunting task
    • Once the loose or damage bricks have been removed, clean the area with a wire brush and power wash it if possible
    • Mix up mortar in a five-gallon pail or a wheelbarrow using a bag of mortar mix and a shovel or hoe, and make it fairly loose. (The pro,s give the mix a squirt of dishwashing liquid to make the mix more pliable)
    • Your options include using the trowel to “butter” the replacement brick with mortar or applying the mortar with a bag that includes a nozzle for directing the flow of mortar
    • Either apply mortar to the brick and set it into place or  set it in place and squirt mortar into the gaps around  the brick
    • Once the brick is in place with mortar, position it to be straight, checking it with the level
    • After setting the brick or bricks, use water and a coarse sponge to remove the excess mortar from the joints and on the bricks
    • After the mortar cures, a whitish haze might cover the bricks where the mortar was, and it can be removed with the hose or a wire brush.
    • Stay off the repaired bricks for 48 hours to allow the mortar to harden
    • Mortar is very abrasive, and handling it is like rubbing sandpaper on your skin, so wear gloves
    • Your tools and supply list includes: Hammer, chisel, wire brush, power washer (optional), cement trowel, replacement bricks (if originals are missing or damaged), mortar, level, extra water, a sponge and a pair of gloves

    Brick Step Repair Costs

    If you do the job yourself, your costs include the mortar and any tools you don’t have. When hiring a contractor for the job, the estimate you receive will be based on the time and materials needed to complete the work. Here’s a look at brick replacement costs.

    DIY Brick Repair Costs: Mortar is cheap at $5 to $8 per bag, enough to replace a dozen bricks or more. An inexpensive mortar trowel will cost about $10. All the other tools, except a wheelbarrow, are available for less than $10 each. If you don’t have a wheelbarrow, a 5-gallon pail will work too. If you need to buy bricks, they’ll cost $5 to $15 each depending on their style.

    Professional Brick RepairCosts: One reason to consider hiring a professional brick layer is that they often have a good supply of replacement bricks, so there’s a better chance find a brick that matches the existing bricks. The cost will probably be at least $200 to cover the service call. That price might include replacing several bricks. Beyond a few bricks, expect to pay $10 to $20 per brick for the work.

    How to Save Money on Brick Steps Repair

    If doing the work yourself, borrowing the tools you don’t have will cut your costs considerably. If you’re hiring a handyman or contractor, you can find the lowest brick repair cost by getting free estimates from several different contractors who know that they’re competing for the work.

    Do It Yourself Brick Repair Resources

    Here are a few extra resources that will make the job easier or, at least, give you a better understanding of what the work requires.

    Thompson Crowley Masonry – This information from a local masonry company will help you evaluate whether you should do the work yourself or hire a contractor.

    YouTube – Here’s a video from a definite amateur that will help you decide if your job is a DIY project or whether you should hire a professional. NOTE: If you handle the mortar the way this guy does, without gloves, it will damage your skin significantly. Wear gloves!

    Randals Masonry Restoration – This site includes pictures of what a repaired set of brick steps can look like when done properly.

     

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