Cracks in exterior brick walls are quite common and can be caused by many different reasons, such as foundation problems, moisture damage, tree roots or seasonal movement. If you don’t take care of them quickly, the cracks can become bigger and more expensive to repair and over time, lead to serious damage to your home. In this blog post, we will discuss how to repair cracked brick walls using a technique called crack stitching.
Types of cracks
There are 3 main categories when it comes to cracks in your walls:
- Active cracks are increasing in width and/or length. They tend to be wider than 5mm and should only be repaired by a professional, or you should at least consult with a structural engineer before attempting any work yourself.
- Passive cracks are no longer increasing in size, and they can usually be repaired relatively easily by using simple brick stitching techniques.
- Cyclic cracks open and close seasonally can also be fixed easily.
How to repair cracked brick walls
If you’re attempting the cracked brick wall repair yourself, you’ll need to identify the cracks. Once you have identified them, use a brick chisel or hammer and chisel to remove the loose mortar from the crack.
Next, mix the new mortar following the manufacturer’s directions and use a trowel to apply a thin coat of mortar to the crack. Make sure that you get into all the crevices.
Then, using a pointing trowel, press firmly onto the mortar and drag it down the length of the crack. This will help to ensure that the mortar sticks to the wall properly, without leaving any gaps. Let the mortar dry for at least 24 hours before painting or caulking your wall.
For larger cracks, stainless steel rods are bonded into the walls, stitching masonry across cracks at regular intervals. The new mortar is matched to the original one, to create a seamless finish.
The rods are made from high-quality stainless steel so that they don’t rust or stain the mortar over time. They also allow for small natural movements in your wall, which will adjust with temperature changes.
Crack stitching is a highly effective and relatively inexpensive method for repairing external cracked walls. It can usually be finished in a day or two and all the work is done outside, creating minimal disruption to your household.
If you come across any cracks in the external wall of your house, and you feel comfortable repairing them yourself, you can get DIY crack stitching kits in most major builders’ merchants. Alternatively, LC Joinery carry out crack stitching in Fife and across central Scotland. All our work is guaranteed, and we are a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen, the Federation of Master Builders, the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme, and is a Which? Trusted Trader and a licensed asbestos removal contractor. Read more about us here.
Call LC Joinery at 01592 747 047 or email us at email@example.com.