Repairing brick stairs


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Old 03-04-16, 06:30 AM
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Repairing brick stairs

The brick stairs at our entrance is crumbling . Already two bricks have come out and I think more might be in the queue. Please suggest how to fix this. Attached some pics.

We live in Boston area and I spread lot of salt on the stairs during snow . Probably that is causing it.
 
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Old 03-04-16, 06:42 AM
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You can remove that word "probably". The salt sets in motion a process that weakens the mortar, so my guess would be that if one area has eroded, all the mortar has been damaged to some extent, shortening its life expectancy. The bricks would all need to be completely cut out and replaced with new mortar.

The mortar joints can be sliced with a diamond blade, making it easier to pop them loose without damaging them. (if your intention is to save and reuse them, such as if you were going to try a limited repair... ) But if you are paying a contractor to do the work, it will be less labor to just demo the old and put down new brick.
 
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Old 03-30-16, 10:48 AM
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Got a couple of quotes -- one guy quotes $4000 to remove the top layer of bricks and lay limestone; another $800 just to do repointing .

I think I will do some repair myself to delay major repair at least by another 2 years. Got an angle grinder . I am not planning to save the bricks -- bricks are cheap in home stores and I will need only about 30 bricks to do a decent repair.

Any other tips ?
 
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Old 03-30-16, 11:25 AM
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krishmunn - What are doing will certainly be a temporary repair for the surface only.

If you look at the concrete below the brick surface, you will see that it also beginning to fall apart.

When the surface brick begin to move and let go, it will be necessary to replace the entire support.

There certainly some moisture available 24/7/365 from the surrounding soils and landscaping.

Repairs never last as long as new construction if you are just replacing mortar.

Dick
 
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Old 03-30-16, 02:34 PM
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The contractor who evaluated said it is not too bad and not falling apart . He said replacing just the top layer of bricks is good (and he is quoting $4000 to replace that with limestone) and says it will cost astronomical to replace the entire staircase.

... but I do agree , it will be temporary. I need to go for another 2 year with fix (if needed multiple) before I am ready to shell out that amount of money.

There is no moisture source BUT , the house is facing north -- so the stairs never get any sunlight .

What should be the ambient temperature for this repair ? We are in North-East and right now it is around 50s during day and mid thirties at night . But it might turn to 30s during day and 20s at night next week -- never know
 
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Old 04-18-16, 09:17 AM
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After getting quotes from contractors, I decided to fix it myself.

I have examined closely and looks like only the first step is in real bad shape. for all other steps, there are hardly two or three joints which need to be repointed.

The first step is probably bad due to two positions --

1) It get no sunlight

2) We had two heavy doormat which trapped lot of water.

I have ripped the entire top layer (fieldstones and bricks) . There is solid concrete under that .

Questions --

1) I can see a lot of sand ..as if the fieldstones were sitting on a bed of sand. Is that normal ?

2) After the top layer, I god a very hard layer of mortar (not at same depth in all areas). Do I need to remove that layer too (will need a demo hammer probably)

3) Is there any other option in stead of using fieldstone . Wondering if something more non porous can be used

4) I am planning to use N type mortar mix. Is that OK or should I use S type ?

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 04-18-16, 09:26 AM
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Added pictures after first demo.Name:  CAM00402.jpg
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