Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-25-2008, 03:55 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fenton, Michigan
Posts: 48
Share |
Default

Brick steps failing


When our house was built back in 2004, instead of plain 'ole concrete steps leading up to the front porch I had him build steps from the same brick that the house has on it. 3 steps total. I noticed last summer that the mortar between the bricks, especially on the horizontal surfaces, was flaking and chipping away. A couple to the point where it looked like they might come loose. Someone told me that they may not have been sealed properly and water was penetrating and loosening the mortar. Someone else told me I should have never had steps made of brick since they'll never hold up in a horizontal application like that. Ignoring person #2, I went and bought some masonry sealer and applied (this works fine as water appears to bead up on the steps now instead of penetrating). Before that however I made what I thought was a repair to it. The job I did however is a complete embarrassment. I know nothing about masonry work so I just bought this caulk-like crap in a tube for $6.50 from Home Depot. It was supposed to be for mortar repair. Sounded easy, and was easy to apply. Unfortunately, it never looked good from the get go. Didn't match the existing mortar at all, and just appeared to "sit" on the surface of the existing mortar, not really adhearing to anything. I just noticed the other day that all this junk I applied last summer is peeling off like an old band-aid, as if it never stuck in the first place. And the old, existing mortar underneath is continuing to flake away. Not sure what to do come Spring (other than peeling the crap I put on off), but I would like to save these steps. Will regular mortar mix work, or do I need something else due to the horizonal application involved here?

sk8z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2008, 04:51 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,083
Default

Brick steps failing


Did you throughly clean out the bad joints before you made any repair?

redline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2008, 07:41 PM   #3
Master General ReEngineer
 
Bondo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chaumont River, Ny.
Posts: 3,673
Default

Brick steps failing


Quote:
or do I need something else due to the horizonal application involved here?
Ayuh,.....

I would think that something like digging out the joints,+ regrouting it like a tile floor would work.......
Bondo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2008, 09:41 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,214
Default

Brick steps failing


Several things. First, the steps should have been pitched to shed water. That won't help with snow and ice, though. Second the HD crap in a tube is no good, and won't stick once you have sealed the steps.

Your best bet is to use an angle grinder to remove the bad joints, then fill the joints with a high lime mortar. Use one bag of porttland, one bag of lime and 3 parts sand. This will make a lot more than you need, but it is still relatively cheap. The color will not match this year, but by next year it should be fine.


Feel free to re-apply the sealer a month or so after you finish.
Tscarborough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 08:33 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fenton, Michigan
Posts: 48
Default

Brick steps failing


Quote:
Second the HD crap in a tube is no good, and won't stick once you have sealed the steps.
Actually I sealed the steps after making the repair. I first thoroughly cleaned the mortar joints of any loose debris using a wire brush. Then I actually vacuumed between the joints to remove any fine particles. Then I applied the crap in a tube. Stuff is just junk period. I made the mistake of trying to take the easy route since I have no experience with mixing & applying regular mortar. Applying it out of a tube like caulk sounded great at the time. Looks like it's time to learn, or hire it out. In the spring I will take your advice and apply a mixture of your recommendation. Is the high lime a more "durable" mixture? Reason I ask (and to answer Bondo's quote) is because I was told that regular mortar is meant for vertical applications (i.e. water doesn't pool on it's surface, no foot traffic, etc.). Since these are steps, the bricks and surrounding mortar are exposed to harsher wear and tear. Or is this just BS and mortar is mortar?
sk8z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 08:55 AM   #6
so-elitecrete
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ga
Posts: 151
Default

Brick steps failing


grab a 4" grinder & .250 tuckpointing blade,,, cut out all the mortar,,, wash w/wtr (no acid as its type s cement),,, new brick so h/dlowe'sacehdwe mortar mix's fine for this work,,, also grab up a mortar bag ( similar to a baker's icing bag ),,, mix your mortar a little ' loose ', squeeze in the mud, then use a properly siz'd pointing tool to ' seat ' the mortar,,, concave jnts.

let it sit for a month, pressure wash, & seal w/silicone siloxane.

' crap in a tube ' you've defin'd well :-)
so-elitecrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 09:09 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,214
Default

Brick steps failing


The lime increases the bond strength and flexural strength. There is no different mortar used for horizontal VS vertical applications.
Tscarborough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 10:38 AM   #8
so-elitecrete
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ga
Posts: 151
Default

Brick steps failing


we're arguing, scar,,, but we usually mix lime mortars for historical work rather'n new.

you're correct but so're we,,, we use type s rather'n types 1, 2, & 3 portland.
so-elitecrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 11:52 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,214
Default

Brick steps failing


Type S is a strength designation. It can be made with masonry cement, portland cement and lime or portland cement and masonry cement.

Either way works, but a portland/lime mortar is the best for almost every application. Do not use lime and masonry cement together, however.

For historical work, a lime mortar is made that may contain a very small percentage of portland cment or other gauging mortar, but you will not get a Type S strength from a lime mortar (Which is OK, since 90% of the masonry laid does not need Type S mortar; a Type N is fine, and even a Type O is sufficent for most historical repair work).
Tscarborough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2009, 10:23 AM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
Question

Brick steps failing


I foolishly put rock salt on my brick steps in this winter's prolonged icing and the salt ate much of the mortar on the top steps. Should I wash down the remaining mortar to get rid of any salt still there, and how do I actually clean mortar off the bricks to start fresh? - Do i have to scrape it off or is there another way?
msherman51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2009, 03:16 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 567
Default

Brick steps failing


rinse the steps w/ammonia:water ( 1:8 ) & rinse w/clear water,,, then don't do that no more ' foolish ' does have a price

mortar on bricks can be taken off w/acid solution however, if its been on a long time such as on my house, i used a 4" grinder & .110 blade but that's our wor,,, if the salt ' ate ' the mortar to the point you'll need to tuckpoint, use a .250 blade instead.


yesitsconcrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
water leaking through brick chimney quigleybmd Concrete, Stone & Masonry 45 02-26-2013 04:26 PM
20 year old Brick Wall Repair Bobrobert General DIY Discussions 15 11-22-2011 03:07 PM
Bad Brick Mortar ??? kourso Building & Construction 21 11-08-2010 12:11 AM
Steps on an umortated brick patio schott_robert Building & Construction 2 12-04-2006 07:15 AM
Making an 8" hole in the brick Hushpuppy Building & Construction 6 11-28-2006 07:17 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.