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Home Improvement : Repair Loose Brick Fast Without Use of Mortar

May 03, 1992|GARY ABRAMS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Abrams is a Los Angeles general contractor and a free-lance writer

If you have decorative brickwork around your home, odds are that sooner or later you will have to deal with a recalcitrant brick that decides to let go of its mooring.

Not only is this problem unsightly, but it can be dangerous if it occurs on a step or walkway.

The standard repair procedure of resetting the loose brick with new mortar mix does, of course, do the job, but can be a bit of a hassle. It is sometimes tough to remove the old mortar and can be tricky to mix the new material to the proper consistency.

As a quick, easy alternative to the old method, try this technique. The only material you will need is clear silicone sealant, available at any hardware store.

First, make sure that the loose brick and its anchor point are both completely dry and swept free of any loose debris. Do not remove any old mortar that is still bonded to the bricks.

Next, apply the silicone sealant to both the brick and the anchor point. Cover all contact surfaces with a "squiggly" line of material about one-quarter inch in diameter.

Place the loose brick back into position. Check for proper alignment with the surrounding bricks. Once it looks right, apply pressure to compress the silicone sealant. Wipe any excess sealant that squeezes from the joints with a rag.

If you are working on a step or walkway, form an X with masking tape over the newly repaired brick to warn pedestrians not to step on it while it cures overnight.

Once cured, the silicone sealant will form an incredibly strong, waterproof bond that is probably tougher than the original mortar compound.

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