Is It Time to Repair or Replace Your Brick Steps?
Brick is a durable material. With the right maintenance, brick steps can last more than 100 years. Long before that, you may start seeing cracks in the mortar or the bricks themselves. How do you know if it’s time to repair or replace your steps?
If you see broken or cracked bricks, you have two options. One is to check the other side of each brick. Is the brick pitted or discolored on one side only? If the opposite side looks fine, you can remove it and reset it the opposite way. This is a common technique used in historic restoration where it’s important to preserve the original bricks.
If the brick is damaged on both sides, you must replace it. Replacing broken bricks will strengthen the brick structure and keep your steps safe.
Loose Bricks or Mortar
Loose bricks can also be repaired or replaced. Repointing brick is a time-tested repair that will help the bricks and mortar regain their original beauty and integrity. This is not something you should do yourself. Talk to a professional masonry company about repointing or resetting the bricks and mortar.
Spalling is a serious condition. When you have spalling, the surface of the brick flakes off. Bricks with spalling take on a rough, crumbling appearance. The bricks look like they are deteriorating, and the mortar may be chipped or falling out.
What causes spalling?
• Repeated freeze-and-thaw cycles in the weather
• Using the wrong sealants
• Pressure washing the brick
• Improper installation
If you have spalling, your brick steps may need extensive repair. This damage can cause the brick foundation to weaken, which is a safety concern. Rebuilding your steps is the only way to make sure they maintain their structural integrity.
Leaning or Bowing
If your steps are unstable, they will lean or bend. This is a sign that your steps are dangerously unsafe. If the damage is severe enough to cause bending or bowing, repair may no longer be an option. You will have to rebuild the steps.
Do You Need Repair or Replacement?
It’s hard for a nonprofessional to determine if your brick needs replacement or repair. Masonry work requires specialized tools and skills. Only a professional mason can determine the true condition of your bricks.
If you see cracks, spalling, or other signs of damage on your brick steps, contact Capital Masonry. We are a local, family-owned masonry company with extensive experience restoring brick in new and historic homes. Contact us today for an expert assessment of your brick steps.