Period Brickwork Repair

Regardless of the type of cast iron air brick being installed, the first step is to remove the old or damaged air brick, clean off the old mortar and clean out the hole.

Once clear, examine the adjoining bricks and decide if they need replacing or if loose, if they need to be mortared back in place.

The brick in the example arrowed below is “spalled” and the surface is severely eroded and needs replacing.

  • If the mortar is lime based it will be easy to remove.
  • Use a 10-15mm masonry drill bit and drill out corners and then run drill along length of mortar till the brick is loose and can be pulled out by hand.
  • Sweep loose mortar away and check replacement “reclaimed” brick fits.
  • Use a brush to wash away dust prior to fitting new brick and mixing mortar.

A really useful tip when replacing a spalled brick is to reuse the brick. If the inner face of the brick is undamaged, simply turn the brick around and place the spalled face inwards. This ensures the exact size and coloured brick is used as finding perfect matching bricks is very difficult. If it isn’t possible to reuse the brick and a perfect match can’t be found, consider cutting an oversize brick to the correct size using a disc cutter

If the mortar is cement the process is considerably more difficult and will require the use of a cold chisel or an SDS breaker fitted with a narrow chisel to remove the cement.