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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2answers
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Flood Vents and Raised Gardens

I have flood vents in-front and behind my raised house, which sits on a crawl space. I would like to put a raised garden in the front of my house. Is it acceptable to do this if I create an opening ...
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1answer
18 views

How do you expand an existing patio while retaining look, structure & level?

I have an existing Brick patio that was put in sometime around the time of house construction. There is a small attached garden that has a tree which has since died and I am thinking of expanding the ...
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1answer
18 views

How a concrete/brick storm drain is made?

This must be really simple, but I havent found any instructions and I'm unsure on how to proceed. I need to make two storm drains (concrete boxes with grills on top and a pipe to direct rain water), ...
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2answers
43 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
50 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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2answers
130 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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0answers
32 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
58 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
66 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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3answers
78 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
69 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
73 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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1answer
56 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
81 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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2answers
2k views

How can I treat brick efflorescence?

I have a new brick wall but large areas are becoming covered in white salty deposits; I want these removed - how can I do it? Update Thanks Niall. Just out of interest, can acid do damage to bricks? ...
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3answers
5k views

How do I repair screw holes in a brick wall?

I have screw holes which were put in to support a curtain rail. The curtain's been pulled out a few times by accident, and now the screw holes are crumbling and I don't know how to repair that portion ...
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2answers
1k views

How do I remove mortar from bricks so I can re-use them?

I have about 500 bricks to cleanup so I can reuse them, the mortar is old and the bricks are soft clay. What is the best way to remove the mortar and how much time should I allow?
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1answer
77 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
134 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
34 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
118 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 ...
4
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1answer
163 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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1answer
79 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
230 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
107 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 ...
2
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2answers
155 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
384 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 ...
2
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1answer
669 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 ...
3
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1answer
174 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
367 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
151 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
533 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
145 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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2answers
92 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?
2
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1answer
930 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 ...
7
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3answers
258 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 ...
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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 ...
6
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2answers
10k views

How can I cut through brick to add a window?

I'm redoing a bathroom and would like to add a window (36x12) in the shower. This involves cutting through brick. A contractor I spoke with said he could cut it with a angle grinder (diamond blade?), ...
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0answers
129 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
331 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. ...
1
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1answer
72 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 ...
7
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2answers
463 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 ...
4
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4answers
5k views

What's the best way to remove a wall plug?

I use wall plugs a lot for putting screws into brick walls. It's easy to get the screw out when you want to remove them and usually you can loosen the screw a bit and pull and then both the wall plug ...
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3answers
318 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 ...
5
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2answers
6k views

Should I replace old wooden siding with brick?

I'll say first, that this isn't a question about DIY, but more about the idea and whether we should go through with it. We bought our first house last year, and in the Spring this year, we are ...
4
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2answers
387 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. ...
2
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1answer
157 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
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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
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1answer
6k views

What is the best mix for cement render?

I have some bricked exterior areas that had some cement render on them, and then paint. The render has fallen off the bricks in patches. I think the problem is that large chunks of the brick work was ...
3
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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 ...