Although brick is one of the world’s oldest building materials and one of the most enduring, it still requires maintenance every decade or so. Bricksare fireproof, weather and pest resistant, theydo not warp, rot or fade. Brick structures built hundreds of years ago are still standing strong and with some maintenance continue to look as appealing as the day they were built.
Brick buildings consist of two main components, brick and mortar. The bricks themselves are made from clay, which may contain soil, sand, lime and concrete materials. The clay mixture is molded into brick shapes and then fired at a high temperature into durable, long-lasting building materials. Mortar is a paste-like mixture used to bind bricks, stone or other masonry materials together. Mortar is made from a mixture of water, sand, lime, pigment and cement. Its primary use is to fill and seal irregular gaps between masonry, bonding them together to create a solid, durable structure.
Brickwork services in London have gained popularity in recent years, due tothe array of agesandstylesover hundreds of years that need to be maintained. Brickwork services are generally not required on a regular basis. Most people will only experience the process once or twice in their lifetime. But it is important to check your brickwork intermittently for loose bricks or damaged mortar. Also to be aware that interior damp patches could be due to damaged exterior brickwork. If impaired bricks are left unattended, the damage will spread to adjacent bricks and continue to crumble and loosen. Therefore making it imperative to replace damaged bricks and fix damaged mortar as soon as possible to avoid further and future expense. That is the beauty of brick – you can often repair problems instead of replacing the entire structure.
General Brick Replacement process
- Check whether bricks are salvageable
- Source like-for-like bricks i.e. colour, size, strength
- Remove mortar surrounding damage bricks and detach
- Clean out any remaining mortar within the gaps
- Mix new colour matching mortar
- Spread a thick layer of mortar on the base of the hole and to the top and sides of the brick using a trowel
- Place new identical brick onto the mortar layer, pressing it down firmly
- Shape the new mortar to match the rest of the wall
- Allow mortar to dry slowly
Repairing damaged brick is far more cost effective than replacing them. At Pointing by Tony Wallace, we advise our clients on what process should be administered to what damage. Its possible that just small patches of the wall require brick replacement or brick repair.
Brick repair usually involves cleaning ingrained grime and pollution from the brickwork before repairing the damaged bricks with a filler to replace the missing segments. Depending on the depth of the damage to the brickwork, repair may be built up in a sequence of layers.
General Brick Repair process
- Chip away loose pieces of damaged brick
- Remove cracked or crumbling mortar surrounding brick
- Mix a matching colour dye with mortar
- Fill damaged areas of brick with colour dye mixture
- Allow to set and dry
- Insert restored brick into wall on new colour matching mortar
The skill that provided all tradesmen at Pointing by Tony Wallace with their knowledge of bricks is bricklaying. This where we all started, so it’s a trade we have extensive experience in. If walls have failed to be maintained and neglected by their owners, there is a possibility that the wall will need to be taken down and rebuilt. Pointing by Tony Wallace provide bricklaying services to residential homes and commercial properties.
General Bricklaying process
- Knock down damaged wall
- Prepare and replace foundations with concrete
- Create a straight guideline using a string line
- Lay bricks without setting in place with mortar
- Pick up brick (one at one) and place mortar in brick space using a trowel
- Lay the brick in place and adjust level
- Repeat process brick by brick
- Use spirit level to ensure corners are straight
- Continue to lay bricks in this manner, filling all the joints between bricks with mortar
Pointing by Tony Wallace have years of experience dealing with architectural brickwork and pride ourselves on our knowledge of bricks. Bricklaying, brick repair and brick replacement has been a part of our business for over 20 years. We have an extensive contact list of salvage and modern brick suppliers within London and surrounding areas.
Contact Pointing by Tony Wallace for all your brickwork enquiries. We are happy to provide no-obligation quotations and provide advice where necessary. We will also advise on the most cost effective route but also the most beneficial to the structure.