Wall Repairs

Many of us are now finding that the bricks are coming loose on the brick pillar of the driveway and garden wall. Unfortunately it is not a question of 'if this happens' but of 'when this happens' since it's a basic design fault and building practice that still goes on even today.

Did you once have this ?

But now have this ?

Act now if you do.

You need to do something about it before one of those bricks fall on a child's head! Either take them off and keep them safe or read on to find out how to re attach them.

Why are they coming loose?

You might think that it's kids mucking about that causes these bricks to come loose, but it's not them.....it's mother nature herself. Essentially any cracks, gaps or holes in the mortar between the bricks will let in moisture or more specifically rain. On a cold winter night this freezes and the ice expands making the hole and crack slightly bigger each time and causes the mortar mix to perish. This continues until the brick eventually breaks loose from the mortar completely.

What can  you do to stop it ?

Not a lot is the short answer since it's a fault that comes with the wall design. Some walls and pillars in neighbouring estates have concrete capping stones to stop the rain from getting into these cracks. You could buy and attach these quite easily but it would look odd unless many neighbouring houses around you did the same.

How to make a repair.

Many builders and handymen can do this within a few hours since it's not especially difficult and there are 2 basic options:
  1. Patch and fill
  2. Take down and remake
The most obvious fix is the first option and it is the one most people take but it's got one major problem.... no matter how much time and care you apply doing the work the finished job will look messyApplying mortar to any rough object leaves marks and fills holes and grooves around the joint. The new fresh mortar colour will stand out drawing attention to itself together with any spillages or stains.  

With either option you're basically doing the same thing but by remaking the broken area you'll be neat and by fixing all the exposed joints at the same time you'll avoid needing to do the job again for quite some time. See more in the quick 'Step by Step' guide.

This article is about repairing those loose bricks on top of a wall and not the 'hairline' cracks caused by ground movement, tree roots or car impacts. Those are more troublesome to fix and there's a risk the wall can fall over, therefore seek advice first.

Hairline Crack.

A rebuilt wall.

Whatever you decide to do, do not lose the bricks as it is rare to find a match.

If you want someone to do it perhaps check to see who else on your street has the same issues and get together to make a saving.

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