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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8
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1answer
247 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I remove moss from an outdoor brick walkway?

I've got a brick walkway that has parts that are in shade most of the day. Our winters are wet and cloudy and during these times it's not uncommon for the shady parts of the walkway to grow a fair ...
7
votes
3answers
383 views

Do Old Houses Have a Pre-determined Lifespan?

Taking into consideration the building supplies that were available in that time period for that particular geographic area (say, a major metropolitan city in the mid-western United States), do homes ...
7
votes
2answers
717 views

Should I fill eroded mortar in exterior brick?

There's a few bricks around my house about 40cm up from ground level where the vertical mortar between the bricks has completely fallen out / eroded away. In a few spots, there's insects going into ...
7
votes
2answers
274 views

Are these brick walls properly constructed?

I'm looking into buying an apartment and I'm visiting some locations. During one of my visits I saw this exterior wall of a future apartment building: I'm not an expert but it does not look good ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What methods can I use to remove exterior paint from brick?

I just purchased a historical house that was painted an ugly peach color. I bought some marine grade paint stripper that I was going to use little by little to strip the whole exterior by hand. This ...
7
votes
2answers
421 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
220 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
8k 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?), ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I remove construction glue from brick?

I just removed glued-on paneling from an interior brick wall. Now, I have the task of removing the glue from said brick. What is the best method of doing so? I know there's no getting around the use ...
6
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
225 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I supporting a load via anchors in brick or mortar?

I'm attempting to hang window flower boxes (a metal frame with a moss/fabric insert, filled with dirt/flowers/water for a total weight of about 15 lbs) on a brick wall. An example of a similar metal ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

How should laminate flooring be secured next to brick?

I want to install laminate flooring in a family room that has a brick fireplace. Part of the laminate would be directly next to the brick base of the fireplace. What kind of base-board or base-piece ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I add/alter wiring inside single-brick walls?

Our house is full-brick. Double-brick on the exterior walls and single-brick for every internal wall. It was built in 1979 (I guess they liked to do things properly then). We've only ever had the ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

Does my garden brickwork need mortar?

We recently redesigned the walkway through our garden to our back door. This involved lots of scaping of the land -- especially to change the waterflow away from the house. The new walkway ends with a ...
5
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
395 views

What is the best way to deal with wall tie failure?

My wife and I are considering purchasing a new house, but the surveyor says that it has wall tie failure. What is the best solution for repairing this? Is it really necessary to get the old ties out ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How much weight can single-track shelving mounted on brick wall hold?

I'm looking at attaching shelves to a brick wall using single-track metal strips with adjustable brackets. The metal strips will be 78 inches long and I'm planning on using pine shelves 47 x 12 x 3/4 ...
5
votes
1answer
236 views

how to clean up black paint that spilled on exterior bricks

My upstairs neighbor (well she said her cat did it) spilled black paint on her deck/patio last summer. It dripped for 10 minutes down the side of my exterior wall of my unit (outside). It's spilled ...
5
votes
1answer
507 views

How can I resheathe behind brick fascia without removing the brick?

The original builders of my house used a material called "Aluma Sheath", also known as Dennyboard, to sheathe my house. Dennyboard is a radiant coating on two sides of a 1/8 sheet of a fiberous ...
4
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What type of paint should be used to paint a brick fireplace?

The brick color is hideous. Additionally there are some missing bricks that will be replaced first and would be hard to match. Is there a particular type of paint that should be used on brick?
4
votes
2answers
847 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?
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What's behind the hard plaster walls?

Most of the walls in the old part of my house are plaster. Hard, nasty, amazingly solid plaster. While this is nice in some areas, there's others that it's rather annoying -- such as on the stairs ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I remove paint from an indoor brick wall?

I have a red brick wall that was painted. I need to figure out an easy method of removing the paint without damaging the brick. Are there any tried and true methods? One thing to remember is that ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

How do I match this brick?

I am trying to find a good match for some 1930 bricks (North West England). Any ideals on makes and model of bricks that will match well.
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I replace a bricked in mailbox?

My in-laws have a Mailbox that's a normal looking metal mailbox that's in a brick enclosure. It appears that when it was built, someone just put down mortar, set the mailbox in it, covered the ...
4
votes
2answers
315 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
votes
1answer
752 views

How can I remove faux brick from a kitchen wall?

My kitchen has these fake bricks placed over the drywall on the walls around the cabinets. My question is, is there a way to remove just the bricks without completely tearing down the cabinets and ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to seal and paint a rough plaster and brick wall?

This weekend I took down some old cabinets and the support boards that were nailed into the wall. This took down some of the plaster (old water damage took care of the rest). The surface on the photo ...
4
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I seal seams between bricks on a patio without using sand?

I have a patio that's made of bricks with fine sand filling the gaps. This is turning out to be a maintenance hassle. Every time the kid or dog gets mud or crud on the patio I hose it off and manage ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

hammer drill not making any progress

Aiming to put some bike hooks into a plaster on brick wall - We've acquired a hammer drill and have been practicing on a spare brick and a backyard cement wall but the drill is just barely / not ...
3
votes
2answers
302 views

Cement around decorative bricks leaves grey/matte coating on bricks

I'm installing a decorative brick wall (individual thin bricks) for the first time. I glued all the bricks and now I'm working on the cement (mortar) around the bricks. I did a few rows yesterday for ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I cut a channel and plaster television cable work in a brick chimney?

I am buying a new TV, which I intend to mount on the wall. The wall is a brick chimney breast, early 1900's house. I have heard mentioned on a few sites the idea of cutting a channel, and plastering ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What compound should I use to fill drilled holes in cinder block?

I have some holes drilled previously on my house that I would like to fill in. Do they make a liquid concrete in a tube compound that I can squeeze into the holes to fill them in and keep wasps out? ...
3
votes
1answer
341 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 - ...
3
votes
1answer
371 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
580 views

How can I build a porch enclosure?

I'm looking to take on this project myself, I want to enclose my porch. It's roughly 2x5 metres, and 8 feet high and is part of a semi detached where the porch continues on the other side to my ...
3
votes
2answers
449 views

Mount an LCD TV to 30 year old masonry fireplace

Power and HDMI are no issue. I'm worried about messing with the mortar. Any advice? Will this be an issue, more trouble than it's worth, etc? I have some alternatives. Leave my TV on the mantle or ...
3
votes
1answer
61 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
5k 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
votes
1answer
539 views

Cause of eroded mortar in exterior brick

This question actually reminded me of an issue with my exterior walls. I have the same problem with the vertical mortar being eroded/missing from several bricks at ground level on the exterior of my ...
3
votes
1answer
512 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?
3
votes
1answer
528 views

The mortar between my patio bricks is crumbling away

The bricks on my front porch have some sort of mortar that crumbles away more and more every time I pull a weed from it. You could pick this stuff away with an awl but it is not just sand that you ...
3
votes
1answer
108 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 ...