For questions generally relating to the artificial stone-like building material typically called "brick", and also related materials like "cinder block" and natural stone blocks.

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34 views

What should I do with my leaking chimney?

We have a brick chimney on the side of our 110 year old, 2 story house. We aren't going to use the fireplace - we have a ventless insert we are going to use. The chimney leaks terribly. We are ...
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2answers
41 views

How to clean portland cement off bricks?

We moved into a brick house not too long ago. There are a few areas that were renovated at some point and the mason did a poor job. It looks like some cement was put in after the bricks were laid and ...
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0answers
22 views

What maintenance does an 1890s brick-over-fieldstone foundation need?

I know that if when it comes time to repoint, I should get the current mortar analyzed to make sure its curing strength is compatible with the old bricks. I know that brick foundations in the time ...
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1answer
49 views

Are window frames structural?

My circa 1920 house is one story, solid brick from the footings in the basement to the roof. Three layer thick up to the first floor joists, then two layers to the roof. The basement windows are all ...
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0answers
62 views

What is this stain on my brick?

My house has a pinky brown brick on the front. When we moved in 9 years ago it had a bit of a green tinge to it, but not bad. Over the years it has gotten worse. We have tried powerwashing, having a ...
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2answers
108 views

Can you attach a post base to a brick patio?

Can you attach a lumber post base to a brick patio, just as like as to a concrete one? Is an additional concrete footer needed?
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1answer
54 views

Abutting brick or paver stones to foundation

I have a little area between our deck and garage that would be perfect for the grill. Right now it is dirt, with nothing but dandelions thriving. +---HOUSE---------- | ...
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0answers
69 views

Is this vertical gap in the concrete block foundation something to worry about?

I'm looking at a home that has a vertical gap or crack running the height of the exposed concrete block foundation. The crack is near the center of the home, about a foot to the right of the concrete ...
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3answers
76 views

laying a brick patio in extreme temperature setting

The small town where I live gets below freezing in winter and above 100ยบ F in summer. I need to know which mortar joint width and ratio is best for laying a brick patio myself. As far as I know, ...
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1answer
45 views

Advice on removing brick fireplace and gas fireplace

I would like to remove this fireplace in its entirety... My 'current understanding' of the best approach to this is as follows.. support the wood sleeper on either side, then chisel away ...
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2answers
64 views

What would cause the mortar to crack across a number of bricks?

Over the winter a large crack appeared, running across the mortar between a number of external bricks. The crack runs on a diagonal and includes a crack along a windowsill. It appears that this ...
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1answer
73 views

Previous owner filled in fireplace shelves with incorrect brick. Can I chisel them out?

My wife and I recently moved into a ranch house built in 1956. If you look closely you can see where the previous own filled in what I assume to be two little nook shelves with regular old brick and ...
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1answer
104 views

Should I use an iron angle or an iron plate to support brick above window?

An opening has been cut in my brick wall to make room for a new window. The wall is not structural. The house is framed with wood like most houses here in Dallas Tx. The window is only 30 inches ...
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0answers
30 views

Minimum covering of brick wall for insulation purposes

There is a brick wall in our condo that is part of the exterior building that was never meant to be used as an interior wall. We were hoping to insulate it and we saw recommendations for using XPS ...
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1answer
96 views

Roof Flashing to Brick Wall: Leaks

I have an addition that is attatched to a brick exterior wall, and it appears that the copper counterflashing has come loose from the roof, and is now causing a leak inside the addition. Is it ...
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1answer
76 views

White Mortar-like material oozing out of Chimney's brickwork (pictured)

We do have a masonry expert coming to evaluate the nature of the pictured problem, but I thought I'd pose the question here to get some information and possibly, a second opinion. There is some ...
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1answer
215 views

How can I hang pots on my brick wall with the least amount of drilling?

I'd like to hang my pots and pans, but the only exposed wall is brick, and the kitchen is too narrow to hang them from the ceiling. This is a 100+ year old rental building, so I would like to avoid ...
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0answers
104 views

What is a suitable mortar when repointing a wall made of soft red brick?

I am about to re-point the front of my Victorian (1895) house which has soft red bricks. Is a 4:1 ratio of sand to cement suitable? I have read that cement can force the moisture though the bricks ...
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2answers
144 views

Is this normal for the brick to extend past the concrete slab foundation?

I am in the process of buying a home and noticed that the brick extends past the concrete slab foundation. I checked different houses around the area and all were flush with the concrete slab. Is this ...
2
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2answers
300 views

What's the fastest way to remove/dissolve plaster from brick?

We want to expose our brick walls in a house that was built around the 1900's. We're doing a complete demo, so hopefully we're not to restricted as to what we can use to remove the plaster. What's ...
3
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1answer
156 views

How do you repair weep hole flashing in a brick veneer?

I have a 1950's home with a brick veneer and a crawlspace. The flashing that routes water from behind the veneer to the weep holes has broken in spots over time due to the weight of the trash mortar ...
8
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1answer
340 views

Mortar (or something) falling out of basement brick wall

In my basement, there is a powdery, bright white substance between some of the bricks. It looks like it was something applied on top of the mortar joint. I scraped a couple places where it was falling ...
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2answers
137 views

How should I shim a foundation vent?

I bought some new foundation vents that attach with tension screws instead of mortar. I chiseled out my old vent and with the new vent in place, there is a large gap. How do you recommend I fill the ...
3
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1answer
494 views

How can I patch a hole in this brick wall?

I just pulled out the washing machine the old owners "kindly" left us to find a hole where the wall meets the floor. It's approximately 80mm x 50mm and goes down approx 100mm - below ground level - ...
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1answer
137 views

can I cut in / blend old brick extension

Our house was extended some time before we moved in and it has left a straight line of mortar running down the front and back of the building went instead of cutting out the half bricks that wrap ...
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1answer
530 views

Filling old cable holes in brick

My house had several cable runs left from the previous owner that were cut and redone with every TV service they tried. A handful of the runs were brought in from the outside of the house through ...
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2answers
86 views

How do I remove concrete that has splattered on my brick pavers?

We installed a brick patio, and splatter from wet-cutting the bricks ended up on the installed bricks. How do I clean it?
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2answers
2k views

How to cut opening in double brick wall

The external wall of my house is a double-thickness solid brick wall (i.e. about 210mm thick consisting of 100mm brick, 10mm mortar down the middle, then another 100mm brick). I need to cut a new ...
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0answers
126 views

Can I repair the cracks between the bricks in my fireplace?

The bricks surrounding my fireplace have cracks between them. It's as if the thermal expansion/contraction has eroded the mortor between the bricks. I have had some serious fires in there and haven't ...
2
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1answer
305 views

How do I take down an internal wall tied into a load bearing wall?

I'm looking for some advice on whether something I want to do is sensible and any potential risks. Background: Between my dining room and utility room at some time there must have been a doorway. ...
7
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3answers
248 views

How best can I seal up an old coal door?

Alongside my house is an old coal door that was never properly sealed. Some caulk was added around the metal exterior door, and a piece of plywood nailed over the interior opening (more to keep out ...
1
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1answer
70 views

New Window in Structural Brick House

I have an old house (built in the 1940s) that is structural brick. I want to add a small window on the wall to the upstairs to let in a bit more light. Is it possible to add a window to a structural ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

What is this stucco-like finish called?

The chimney is a wide column in the middle of the living room. The finish on this chimney sort of evokes brick, but I don't think it is. It reminds me of stucco, but it isn't that either. The house ...
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3answers
297 views

Can I use demo'ed bricks to make an outdoor firepit?

I have four brick posts that are about four feet high and square (1.5 bricks per side all the way up). They are going. A tree hit two of them and I was probably going to take them out anyway. So I ...
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2answers
454 views

What are these vents in the foundation mortar for?

Throughout the interior side of my 1925 brick foundation are little metal vents embedded in the mortar at irregular intervals. Neither our home inspector nor our real estate agent knew exactly what ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Will cement used as mortar need to be replaced?

I had some cracked/spalling bricks on my home as a result of water getting in and freezing during the winter. I went ahead and replaced five bricks (three on top and two below) and accidentally used ...
2
votes
1answer
796 views

How long to wait before cleaning new tuckpointed brick mortar with muriatic acid?

I am about to retuckpoint my exposed brick wall with a custom mortar mix (1x hydraulic lime, 2.5x sand). Once I am done, I plan to clean the residue and other dirt from the bricks using muriatic ...
2
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2answers
2k views

What is the best way to lay brick pavers on concrete porch

I have a concrete porch which I would is covered and does not get wet during rain/snow. It does not have any drain issues. We don't like the way it looks so we would like to beautify it by laying ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

How should a new brick wall tie into an existing wall?

When building a new brick outside, block inside extension, where it joins an existing brick wall. How should the new wall be tied into the old. ie should the outside brick AND the inside block be tied ...
0
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1answer
101 views

What can I put on these bricks that are sticking up to get them flush again?

The house I just moved into has bricks laid in a pattern of stright columns the bricks are sitting tight but 1 inch is sticking up. Everyone stubs their toe on them. The area is about 7 feet long and ...
3
votes
1answer
456 views

How do I determine the correct rise of a step for a concrete footing on a slope?

Going to be building a retaining wall in the front yard on a slope. I'm going to be using King size residential bricks to make a 2 wythe wall. Because of the slope I'll need to have 3-4 steps in the ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

What is the sheathing underneath my brick exterior walls?

I am trying to figure out what is inside of my exterior plaster wall that the brick is attached to. The house was built in 1946, has no insulation in the walls, and (oddly enough to me), has drywall ...
1
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1answer
252 views

How can I block off a doorway with studwork on a brick wall?

I'm blocking up a doorway in a brick wall. I've decided to block it up using a stud wall as that should be a bit easier than bricking it up. I know that the bricks are 11cm depth plus approx 2cm ...
4
votes
2answers
377 views

Should we cover weep holes with wire mesh?

We just bought our first home and we had advice some friends that we should cover the weep holes with wire mesh, to prevent bugs and other things from going inside. Is that a good idea? Please advise. ...
4
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2answers
205 views

Are there any advantages to using higher priced sealers?

I want to use a water based sealer on my pavers to bring out the color and also for some resistance against dirt and fading. I went to the store and saw sealers varying in price from about $11 per ...
6
votes
2answers
229 views

Is the back section of this house salvageable or should it be knocked down?

My grandfather's house is getting to be in bad shape after years of neglect and more so the back section of the house is falling apart. Now the back section of the house, if I remember correctly, was ...
3
votes
1answer
671 views

How do I darken new mortar in a brick wall to match the older mortar?

I had some bricks replaced. Unfortunately, the mortar is really light. How do I stain it a darker gray, so that it matches the original mortar? Is there a product that I can buy at a big box store?
2
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1answer
343 views

What type of mortar should I use?

I'm going to replace these cracked bricks on the front of my home(see pic). What type of mortar should I use? Type S, N, or M? Is there a way to determine the type of mortar that was used when the ...
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2answers
944 views

Can I change the color of the mortar in my brick wall?

We recently built our home and the mortar color between the bricks is dark gray, we did not pay attention to it and because of that the brick face is looking duller due to the standard gray mortar. ...
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2answers
4k views

How can I finish and seal an interior exposed brick wall?

I have exposed a 100+ yr old brick wall inside, tuckpointed, cleaned with cup brushes on a grinder, and Sureklean 600. I don't have a picture right now but it looks beautiful. Two questions: I ...