How to Repair Loose or Damaged Bricks in Chimneys, Walls, and Walkways

How Do You Fix a Loose Brick? Here is the Recommended Method to Do It Right

Repairing Damage to BricksBrick is a construction material that has been used to build walls, roads, chimneys, and other types of masonry structures for many centuries. Individual bricks can be produced in various sizes, colours, and textures, and assembled in patterns ranging from complete uniformity to stylistic designs.

Due to its resiliency, brickwork can endure for many generations and withstand extreme temperature and climate changes, provided that the particular structure, such as a wall, chimney, or walkway, is properly built and appropriately maintained. Unfortunately, and despite the best intentions and efforts of the builder and the property owner/caretaker, brickwork can incur some type of damage over time, with the most common being:

  • Cracks in the brick
  • Cracks in the mortar
  • Loose or wobbly bricks
  • Diagonal or step-like cracks
  • Chipped or flaked bricks (spalling)
  • Whitish crystals on the face (efflorescence)

When these types of situations occur/appear, there is considerable risk of penetration by water, ice, or other moisture which, if left unattended, can be detrimental to the overall integrity of the entire brick structure. This will almost certainly mean significant repairs, and costs, not to mention the possibility of a complete collapse of the chimney, archway, or wall, leading to extensive damage to the roof or other areas of the building envelope. Furthermore, there can be issues of safety and liability if the homeowner does not repair a loose brick or bricks in their front steps or walkway.

Therefore, although the issue may seem minor, i.e.: just a hairline crack in the mortar or a single loose paver stone, it is incumbent on the property owner to take the appropriate steps to repair the damage as soon as possible to avoid more serious consequences. So, the obvious question becomes: how do you properly fix or repair a loose brick or cracked mortar?

While it may be tempting to just fill any cracks on brick stairs or walls with some fresh mortar, this is a temporary solution at best and would likely further detract from the look and appeal of the particular brickwork. As with other types of home repairs, there is an accepted how-to method to fix or repair loose or crumbling brick, mortar, stairs, steps, etc.; this would include:

  • Chipping out the existing mortar
  • Lifting out the loose or damaged brick(s)
  • Cleaning the old mortar from the open space
  • If bricks are salvageable, removing all old mortar
  • Applying new mortar to bottom/sides of the opening
  • Applying new mortar to top of brick; sliding it into place
  • Packing fresh mortar around brick with a tuck-pointing tool

As mentioned above, an effort should be made to save the existing brick when possible as it will often be difficult to locate matching bricks, in colour and/or texture, especially in cases where the brickwork has been in place and exposed to environmental conditions for several years.

In some instances, the brickwork damage may be significant, to the extent that property owners will require a professional masonry service to repair or perhaps rebuild the entire wall, chimney, fireplace, or other structure. Because this type of brick damage can often be attributed to an existing or prior roof-related concern or leak, it might be prudent to contract a roofing company that specializes in repairs to the complete building envelope, including all its masonry. One such contractor is Avenue Road Roofing, a leading roofing company in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area for over 40 years.

Loose Bricks Repaired By Professionals Who Know the Right Strategy to Apply

Professional Brickwork RepairIt is important to note that professional masonry services, such as those provided by the team from Avenue Road Roofing, should not be reserved solely for large-scale repairs or rebuilds; there can be circumstances when the work might be confined to a smaller area yet requires the knowledge and skills of an qualified masonry specialist in order to avoid unnecessary and expensive damage.

The experts from the masonry division of Avenue Road Roofing can certainly provide this level of experienced service; for example, they know how to fix/repair loose bricks that might appear in such structures or locations as:

  • A fireplace
  • Above a window
  • Exterior archways
  • Parapet and retaining walls

By consulting with an Avenue Road Roofing masonry specialist, homeowners can gain an appreciation for the circumstances that have contributed to those loose bricks as well as the strategy that needs to be employed to properly rectify the situation.

To learn about the types of masonry work done by Avenue Road Roofing’s experts, go to

See for further information on the scope of masonry services offered by Avenue Road Roofing.

If you need to repair loose bricks or mortar in your chimney, front steps, a fireplace, an exterior wall, or any other masonry structure, ensure that the work is done correctly and efficiently to prevent further damage and unnecessary costs. Call the professionals from Avenue Road Roofing today at 416-785-5129 or contact us to request a no-obligation consultation at your earliest convenience.