Replacing a single damaged brick in a wall

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How to Replace a Damaged Brick

Bricks are constantly exposed to the elements. If a brick is broken or cracked, it should be replaced to prevent moisture from seeping into your walls. You need a few specialty tools, but these will cost less than hiring a mason to do the job. Here’s how you can go about replacing a damaged brick.


  1. Decide if you can salvage the brick by removing it and turning it around.
  2. If not, find a replacement brick that matches the color of the others.The best option is to look in a hardware store that carries a wide variety of colors. Used Construction parts stores carry all sorts of colors and sizes.
  3. Soak your new brick in water for an hour before installation.
  4. Remove the broken brick by drilling a series of holes through the mortar surrounding the brick.Drill the holes as close together as possible so that you can remove the brick from the mortar around it.
    • You can also drill a few more holes at an angle and most of the mortar will just fall out. You can also cut the brick out with a diamond blade.
    • Either way, have a friend squirt water (or use a hose if outside) onto the mortar that you are cutting and the amount of masonry dust that you breathe will drop. You can also use a hammer and chisel. The smaller the chisel that you use, the less likely you are to damage the surrounding bricks.
  5. Try to remove the brick by jiggling it.
    • If it doesn't move, use your bolster chisel to cut through the mortar holding the brick in place.
  6. Once the brick is loose, remove it.
    • If you’re going to reuse it, place it in a bucket of water.
  7. Use your bolster chisel or cold chisel to clean out any remaining mortar in the gap.Remove all the mortar debris from the hole.
  8. Mix a small batch of mortar by following the directions on the bag.Test the color of the mortar by applying a small amount to a piece of cardboard. The cardboard will absorb the moisture from the mortar quickly and you can determine its final color.
    • Add mortar coloring to the mortar batch until you get a color match with the existing mortar.
  9. Spray the bricks around the hole with water to prevent them from absorbing moisture from the new mortar and drying it too quickly.
  10. Spread a thick layer of mortar on the bottom of the hole.
  11. Remove the replacement brick from the bucket of water and apply mortar to the top and ends of the brick with a sharp trowel.
  12. Place it in the hole, pressing it firmly into the mortar bed.
  13. Align the brick with brick on each side, ensuring the gaps are consistent.If there are any spaces, apply some more mortar and press it in.
  14. Use the handle of the trowel to make the new mortar joint match the joints in the rest of the wall.If the joint is square, use a square piece of wood to smooth the joint. Lightly use a small moist sponge to smooth out and make a professional look. Use a large sponge to clean the brick and surrounding bricks.
  15. Allow the mortar to dry slowly by spraying it with water a couple of times a day for three or four days.This will cause the mortar to stick better to the brick. If you soaked the brick prior to using it, it will make the joint much stronger because it will take a longer time to cure.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How many bricks can you safely remove at one time? If I need to replace six bricks in one spot can I take them all out at once or should I replace one at a time?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    At one end of the course of bricks, take out two bricks. Then replace one brick with new mortar. Once set, take out the next brick, maintaining a gap of only one brick.
Unanswered Questions
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  • The damaged brick I want to replace is London Stock. What should the pointing be made up of?
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  • Before you start to drill holes in the brick that you want to remove,take a small angle grinder and grind out the mortar joint all around the brick that you want to remove, as deep as the blade will go in. If you do this you won't damage the brick next to the one that you are removing when you hit it with hammer and chisel.


  • There are dangers involved in attempting DIY brick replacement. Consider hiring an experienced mason to ensure safe use of tools and techniques.
  • Attempting a complicated DIY masonry job that you're not experienced enough for can cost you more money in the long run. You may end up needing to hire an experienced contractor to finish or fix the project.

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Date: 10.01.2019, 10:40 / Views: 64152