Ask a Tradesman
How to repair spalling bricks?
How can you repair spalling bricks? I have an entire wall about a metre high with loos pointing and spalling bricks. There too many bricks with the same condition to simply remove the affected bricks and replace with new ones.
What could be causing these bricks to spall? I notice even the decent bricks don't seem to have that smooth outer skin surface that bricks have when they are kiln baked. The surface seem to be rough kind of porous.
To me, sounds like it's a damp problem, no dpc. I wouldn't render the wall as all that will do is cover up the problem and therefore would penetrate the render and eventually that would fall off.
The only solution would be rebuild or repair in stages.
Hope this helps
Answered 16th Oct 2013
This type of damage to the face of bricks, especially boundary walls is due to the effects of winter weathering. If the bricks get wet / saturated combined with frost or freezing conditions it can result in the face of the bricks being 'blown off' and deterioration of the mortar joints. Unfortunately there is very little you can do to repair but maybe consider rendering or re-build. In either case ensure the wall has a good quality copping with clear overhang and maybe tile creasing also a dpc or couple of rows of engineering bricks is good practice.
'spalling' is not caused by damp alone. Bricks are commonly laid below ground in wet / damp conditions with little effect. The damage you describe is a combination of weathering elements on the exposed brickwork. No doubt the best option is a re-build with dpc as I previously stated but the render option is still an alternative but you would need to use eml - expanded metal lath to ensure a good key and have a proper bell drip along bottom edge.
Answered 14th Oct 2013