People drill holes in their brick walls due to various reasons like running electrical wire, cables or pipes. Sometimes gaps left behind on the walls due to changing in the location of wires, pipes or cables can also appear like holes in the walls.
With time dirt and debris can accumulate in these holes if not patched up as soon as possible. Some of these holes can penetrate through the bricks whereas some can pass through the mortar in their joints. The methods used for brick patching can depend upon the location and size of the holes. Some tips and tricks to patch up bricks are provided here under for your consideration.
How to fill a large hole in a brick wall
1. Mortar & trowel is the best method for filling large holes or a lot of cracks in your brick but it does have a few downsides. You will save a lot of money by using regular mortar and trowel method...but – it is a lot messier and takes a lot more time than the tube method…a huge drawback.
2. If you have less than a hundred cracks that need to be filled you can use the mortar repair tube caulk to do the job. It is much quicker, easier to clean & throw away once done.
|Mortar & Trowel method||Tube “mortar” brick filler|
|Used for hundreds of years|
-May fade with time
-Check the guarantee
$5-6 / 40 lb bag
|-Not expensive but not |
cheap if you have a
lot of joints to fill in.
1. Time tested for centuries
2. Will last decades
1. Easier to apply than trowel
2. Easier to move caulk gun
3. Less mess
4. Proven technology
1. Takes more time
to mix mortar
2. Clean up is not fun
3. You have to get rid of the
mortar if you have a lot left.
This can be a pain
1. More expensive but
may be worth it considering
Method # 1 – Mortar & Trowel
1. First clean brick area
Before starting the procedure to patch up the bricks you should first of all clean the brick area to be patched up. You can use a wire brush to remove dust and debris from the bricks. It will make the brick surface a bit rough so that it can catch the mortar more effectively.
2. Use a wire brush to scrape away loose mortar
Before patching the bricks it is necessary to remove loose mortar from their joints. You can use a brush with stiff wires for this purpose. It will not only remove the loose mortar from the brick joints but also the dust and debris settled down there.
3. Scrape away mildew
If your brick wall is damaged for a long time then there can be mildew and mold accumulated on its gaps and damaged parts. You should remove them effectively by using a wire brush. It is necessary to remove mildews and molds form the brick wall to ensure its proper patch up.
You can also use a house cleaning mold, mildew remover. There are several that you can buy. I have used this version and it is currently my favorite solution to use. Why? It is easy, effective and you don’t have to use a lot of solution. With other solutions, you have to apply more of it to remove the moss, mold, and mildew. You can get Wet & Forget from Amazon here.
4. Mix the mortar and water
After cleaning the brick wall and removing loose mortar and mildews from its joints and damaged parts it is time to prepare fresh mortar by mixing water in it. The mortar should neither remain dry nor it should be too loose. You will not be able to handle the mortar effectively if its consistency is not proper.
Or use a pre-mixed mortar in a tube that you can apply with a caulk gun available at Amazon.
5. Wet the mortar
Now wet the mortar to make a thick paste. The paste should neither be too stiff nor too runny so that you can manage it easily while patching up the brick wall.
Don’t add too much water to the motar. You don’t want to soak it. Follow the directions with the right amount of water or you could end up with a soupy mess.
Pro tip: If you get quick dry mortar you have less than an hour before the batch starts to dry. Start out with a small batch so you get the hang of the trowel – it is tricky to get the mortar in there if you are not used to using it.
6. Wet the brick
After mixing the mortar and water you should wet the brick to be patched up so that your mortar can be caught by it effectively. To wet the bricks you can use a spray bottle to spray water on a specific area.
7. Use a small trowel
After preparing the mortar perfectly you can use a small trowel to pack the hole tightly. You should hold the trowel upside down and pile it up with some mortar. Now flush the trowel on the damaged parts and joints of the bricks. You can get this trowel at Amazon.
However, before using the trowel you should wear gloves to avoid prolonged contact with the mortar as freshly prepared mortar can cause burns or irritation on the sin as it is highly alkaline by nature.
8. Shape the mortar filled
After filling the mortar into the joints of the bricks you should shape it up by using the trowel to make it look smooth and evenly filled.
9. Fill brick holes with mortar and brick dust
In order to fill the holes on the brick wall you can use a mortar and patch it up with the dust of bricks. It will not only fill up the holes effectively but also make them look like the part of the brick instead of looking as a repaired brick.
10. Add the brick mortar mix
Now mix the brick dust and mortar to refill it between the joints of the brick wall, after the first coat is hardened. You should add water, mortar mix, and brick dust of a matching-color or pigment used in concrete to a bucket. You should continue to add brick dust while stirring the ingredients until the color of the mixture matched to the color of the brick wall – available here on Amazon.
You can use this mixture to refill the gaps in the joints of bricks. You can also use a jointer or wheel rake for this purpose. You can also use different types of tools to patch up certain decorative or irregular shapes on the joints of the bricks.
Pro Tip: If you need help at the hardware store – You should also take a photo or rough sketch of the brick surface you want to patch up so that you can explain your requirements more effectively.
11. Wet a brick, then press it against the patched brick
Now to ensure proper patching up of the joints between the bricks you should press the patched brick with a wet brick. It will give a brick texture on the entire surface.
12. Use silicone caulk to fill brick holes
While filling up the holes on the brick wall you should use Silicone caulk to fill them effectively. Before filling up the holes with caulk you should use a brush with stiff wires to clean the holes form inside to remove the loose debris and pieces of brick. You can remove the loose debris and dust by using a compressed air blower.
After cleaning the holes you can use a squeezable tube containing caulking compound or a caulking gun filled with silicone caulk and insert its tip inside the hole. Fill the hole flushed with the existing brick by squeezing the caulk tube or caulking gun.
Now take some brick dust on the trowel and hold it at a 90-degree angle to the patched brick and fill the caulked holes with it by tilting the trowel against it. You should press the trowel against the wet silicone caulk to match the color and texture of silicone caulk to the color and texture of the brick.
13. Scrape off excess
Now you can use a brush to scrape away the excess brick mortar mixture from the patched-up holes.
Thus by following the tips and tricks provided in this write-up you can make your brick patching easier even if you are new to it.
Method #2 – Using mortar caulk
What is it? Quikrete has a great sanded acrylic formula (mortar in a tube) that Adheres to brick and concrete surfaces, block and stone as well. It is made to blend in with the surrounding mortar.
How much? I tube 3/8″ x 3/8″ will cover 12 feet of mortar that needs to be filled.
14. Get supplies.
Buy your mortar sealant, caulk gun, knife or scissors. Make sure you have researched both methods so you know the pros and cons of both.
You won’t need a trowel or wheelbarrow to mix your mortar in.
15. Prep the area.
Follow the same cleaning tips above as in Method #1.
The applicator tip make is really easy to apply and create clean mortar joints.
17. Remove loose, old mortar.
Use hammer & chisel to cut out mortar (1/2″ to 3/4″ inch) to remove old mortar and allow the new sealant to adhear to the surface.
18. With the caulk gun and loaded tube
Have several tubes of caulk to apply?
Save your hand and get and get a cordless caulk & adhesive gun. This Makits cordless gun saves your hand from squeezing several caulk tubes which is very tiresome and stresses your hand. This tool is great, inexpensive and prevents spills, which is a big problem for manual caulk guns. It is available here on Amazon.
Apply the sealant on the damp grout – from the back to the front, moving slowly so all the cracks are filled and enough sealant is applied.
19. Use tip to smooth.
Use the square tip to smooth the excess sealant out of the way.
20. Remove residue with damn cloth.
You can dispose of these in your garbage but would they should be taken to the landfill processing center so they don’t end up as trash.
Most landfills have specialized household areas where they process, oil, tar, cement. This is the area where you would go to drop of the “trash” so it can be properly disposed of and it doesn’t end up contaminating a landfill.
Here is the product information from Quikrete:
“PRECAUTIONS • Do not apply if rain threatens or is predicted within 12 hours. Not for use as a structural repair of badly damaged walls. Protect from freezing. Store between 35oF (2oC) and 100oF (38oC). Air and surface temperature should be above 40oF (4oC) for proper application. • Do not use to fill control / expansion joints. • Do not apply where temperatures may reach 140oF (60oC) or higher (fireplaces, electric wires, etc.) CAUTION May cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. Avoid breathing vapor and contact with eyes, skin, and clothing. Use only with adequate ventilation. Ingestion may cause irritation. “
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