If your lovely brick driveway is looking a little worse for wear, don't immediately call in someone who knows how to repair brick to carry out your repairs. By using a few short steps, you will be able to make simple brick repairs to keep your driveway beautiful.
Step 1 - Removing the Damaged Brick
To keep the integrity of the design and look of the driveway, it is best to completely replace a chipped or cracked brick rather than trying to patch the fracture. If the brick is loose enough to pull out of the driveway with your hands, this makes the first step easy. If not, don't try to break the brick into multiple pieces to extract it. Instead, take your drill and make holes in the surrounding mortar to loosen it. You may find that most of the mortar simply crumbles away. Use your chisel to completely free the brick from its place if extra force becomes necessary but take care not to damage surrounding bricks. After you have successfully removed the damaged brick, be sure to brush the area until any dust or stray pieces of brick are removed.
Step 2 - Choosing a Replacement Brick
It might be challenging to match the color of your other bricks. A great masonry trick is that if the brick only has a small or shallow split, you can simply turn the brick over and re-install it on its other side.
If you find a brick that is almost the right color, there are two other brick-working tricks that may come in handy: if you need to lighten the brick, just brush it with milk or yogurt, let it dry and your brick will look a few shades lighter. Conversely, if the brick is too light, take some mud or ash and brush it all over the brick, it will instantly look darker and weathered.
Step 3 - Installing the New Brick
Once the spot is clear, take your mortar and using your trowel, spread it in the spot where the brick will sit. You don't need to overload the hole with mortar; 2 centimeters thick will be more than enough. Spray the side of the brick that will be going into the hole with water and use the trowel to spread mortar on the sides of it. Next, you need to place the brick into the hole, pressing down firmly until the brick sits at the same height as the others around it. Don't worry about excess mortar spilling out as you place the brick in its spot as you can always add or remove mortar once the brick is the same height as the rest of the driveway.
Step 4 - Finishing Touches
A great way to make sure the surrounding mortar is uniform is to take a piece of hose or rubber pipe and drag it along the mortar. This will ensure the mortar is packed in and the shape it creates will help to protect your brickwork in the future.