It’s important to inspect brick foundations, walls and chimneys routinely. The way to tell if brick needs replacing is pretty simple, “if there’s mortar missing or wearing away in spots, a little tuck-pointing is in order” (According to BobVila.com).
Spalling, which is when the face of the brick chips off easily, is fairly common. According to BobVila.com, spalling occurs because the mortar is too hard to expand and contract with cold and warm temperatures at the same rate as the brick, which is softer.
In order to fix spalled brick, the brick needs to be removed and replaced. And, obviously you want to try to match the color of the existing brick as closely as possible so you can’t notice the repairs.
If you live in a historic home, it may be more difficult to find replacement brick that matches. You may want to check local salvage yards or deconstruction contractor. Also, according to BobVila.com, “Historic district commisions have come up with lots of new tricks for dyeing and distressing new brick and mortar, and they’re usually more than happy to supply homeowners with the right recipe for a good match.”
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