Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Casey Thebolt on porch repair

Remove any cracked and crumbling mortar from between the bricks carefully with a chisel. Hit the back of the chisel with a hammer to chip away the damaged mortar. Or grind oout the mortar with a diamond blade.

Spray down the porch to remove any loose dirt. Use a high-pressure washer if there are large amounts of mineral deposits, grease or other stuck-on matter. If the water beads in places, there is a previously existing, but worn, sealer. Coat the brick with environmentally-safe concrete and masonry stripper and leave it to sit for the time indicated in the directions. Rinse with fresh water.

Scrub the porch with an environmentally-safe concrete and masonry cleaner and etch solution while it is still wet. Dilute the product if instructed to do so. Rinse the porch with water.

Dampen the areas where mortar was removed before adding new mortar. These surfaces need to be moist for adequate mortar adhesion. Spread mortar into the gaps with a point trowel. As the mortar starts to set up, smooth it down with a jointer tool or the end of a wooden dowel. Allow the mortar to fully cure, misting the repair areas with water regularly during the curing process.

Apply concrete and masonry stain to the bricks to enrich their color if desired. Apply the stain with a sponge or paintbrush and be careful not to stain the mortar joints. Allow the stain to dry.

Apply penetrating concrete and masonry sealer to the porch to protect the bricks from staining, moisture damage and sun fading, and to preserve any color enhancement. Apply penetrating sealer with a paintbrush, roller or sprayer. Coat the porch generously and allow the sealer to soak in.