Ask This Old House mason Mark McCullough goes to Denver to assist a homeowner in patching a hole in their brick wall.
Since it’s such a small repair, it may be a challenge to get a mason to fix a small hole in a brick wall. This guide will show you how to tackle this job on your own using materials that you can purchase and tools that you can rent.
What to Use to Fill Holes in Brick Walls?
You’ll need mortar, matching brick, and a few other tools. Mortar is used to fill in the holes in brick walls. We were able find standard gray brick mortar for this project. Mark used a Quikrete Type N premixed mortar bag. It is important to ensure that you are using the correct material for the brick you are trying to repair.
To find the right brick, take a photo, identify a nearby brick yard and show someone working there. They will likely recognize the brick and give you the few you need for very little money. Summit Brick Company was able to locate what Mark needed.
Depending on the hole in the wall, it’s likely that surrounding bricks or mortar may need to be carefully removed. A vacuum attachment for an angle grinder can be rented at most home centers. This will help to keep dust down. Bosch Tools provided Mark with a 5″ angle grinder, a tuck-pointing guard, and a nine gallon dust extractor with automated cleaning.
All the other tools required for this project, including the trowel, masonry brush, and jointers, can all be found at home centers.
How to Fill Holes in Brick Steps in 13 Steps
- Start by identifying any bricks that have been cut for the hole. You should remove any bricks that have been cut for the hole.
- To remove the smaller bricks, cut along the mortar lines closest to the brick that’s being removed using an angle grinder. Use a grinder equipped with a vacuum attachment to keep dust down. Connect it to an HEPA vacuum. If you don’t own these tools, they can be rented at your local home center.
- Once the mortar lines have been cut, carefully hit the bricks out of place with a hammer. Pay attention to mortar lines that aren’t being removed from bricks. If you see resistance, those bricks could be damaged and need to be cut out.
- Once the bricks and the mortar have been removed, wipe away any excess dust with a masonry brush.
- Wet the masonry brush and do a second pass on the wall.
- Now it’s time to put the bricks into place. Mix the mortar with water in a bucket until it reaches an oatmeal consistency.
- Scoop some of the mortar onto the trowel and then lay it onto the brick wall.
- Add some mortar to one side of the replacement brick. Place the brick on top of the joint you made in step 1. Place it on top of the bed joint and tap gently with the trowel to align it with the rest of the bricks in the row.
- Continue this process with the rest of the replacement bricks until the hole is filled.
- Use the tuck pointer to fill in all the joints as deep as possible.
- Slick down all the new joints using the concave jointer.
- Wipe off any excess mortar on the face of the bricks using the masonry brush.
- Once all the excess mortar has been removed, do a final slick with the concave jointer.
Expert assistance with this segment was provided by MJM Masonry.