How to Repair Cracks in Brick Walls

How to Repair Cracks in Brick Walls

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If you have some very minor cracks in the brick walls of your home, the good news is that it is possible to repair them. Yes, you will need the right materials and a bit of time, but nonetheless, it is definitely possible. How to repair cracks in brick walls is exactly what we are going to teach you today. We will first start off by talking about the main causes of cracks in brick walls, followed by an in-depth tutorial on the matter.

What Causes Cracks in Brick Walls?

There are actually quite a few different things that can cause cracks in brick walls, so let’s take a look at the most common ones:

  1. Moisture and temperature: Extreme moisture or temperatures, particularly fluctuations, can cause mortar to crack.
  2. Soil subsidence or reactive soils: If the soil under the bricks sinks, or the soil is reactive and contains elements that react with mortar, this can cause cracks.
  3. Old building materials: It could simply be the case that the mortar is old and is in need of repair due to age.
  4. Nearby construction sites: Nearby construction sites can cause vibrations which over time cause mortar to crack.
  5. Nearby trees: Tree roots may also invade brick walls and cause cracks to occur.

Can Cracks in Brick Walls Be Repaired?

The good news here is that yes, cracks in brick walls can be repaired. Now, if the cracks are very major, it’s going to be a big job, but is still possible. This is especially the case if the cracks are in the mortar, or if there is mortar missing. However, if there are cracks in the bricks it is also possible to fix them.

You just have to remove the damaged or cracked bricks along with the old mortar, and then replace everything in one go. To do so you need a few tools including a small chisel, some new mortar and bricks, and a pointer or Trowell. The process itself should only take a few hours, followed by a couple of days to allow the mortar to totally cure.

However, you will want to consider the extent of the damage here. If large sections of the wall, including both the mortar and the brick, are damaged, you may want to consider replacing the wall as a whole. If large portions are damaged, chances are pretty big that there are other damaged sections you just can’t see.

How to Repair Cracks in Brick Walls

Right now we’re going to take you through a step-by-step process on exactly how to repair cracks in brick walls.

Step 1: Gather the Appropriate Tools

You will first need to gather all of the proper tools for the task. You will need safety goggles, a raking bar, a chisel, a hammer, a wire brush, a brick jointer, and a pointer. If you plan on repairing cracks in brick walls more than just once, we do recommend investing in some high-quality tools, as they will last longer.

Step 2: Remove the Old and Cracked Mortar

The first real step in this process is to remove all cracked mortar from the brick wall. You are going to use that raking bar to remove any horizontal mortar from the joints. Any mortar that is damaged or cracked needs to be removed, just be sure that you don’t go too deep into the wall.

You are then going to use your hammer and chisel to remove any of the vertical mortar that is damaged. Use the hammer to hit the chisel into the mortar until all damaged mortar has been removed.

At this point, you are going to use your wire brush to scrub all of the places where you removed mortar, ensuring that all mortar has been removed and that the brick is exposed.

Step 3: Remove Any Cracked Bricks

If you only have cracked or damaged mortar, then you can completely skip this step. However, if the cracks in your brick walls also include having cracked or damaged bricks, then the bricks will also need to be removed.

Use the hammer and chisel or whatever other method you have at your disposal to remove those bricks.

If you did have to remove bricks, chances are that you will once again have to use the wire brush to remove any remaining mortar. You need all of the intact bricks to be completely exposed and free of mortar in order to complete the repair job.

Step 4: Wet the Wall

You now need to spray down the brick wall or wet it with a hose. It is absolutely essential that you wet the brick wall before performing any repairs. First of all, a wet wall will allow the mortar to stick better. Moreover, if your brick wall is very dry, once the repairs have been completed, it can suck up more moisture, which can then lead to more cracks occurring in the future.

Step 5: Add New Mortar and Replace Bricks if Necessary

You are now going to get your mortar and mix it according to the instructions on the package. It is also important to make sure that you get the right color to match the existing mortar that you have.

Next, use a brick jointer to push the mortar into all of the necessary joints, and be sure that you don’t leave any empty holes.

On that note, if you had to remove bricks in the previous step, now is also the time to re-insert the bricks. If you do have to re-insert new bricks into the wall, you will need to use your pointer to insert more mortar in between the joints to embed the bricks in place.

Step 6: Flatten the Mortar

Once all of the mortar has been inserted as needed, you are then going to use your brick pointer to flatten all of the mortar to get it looking nice. Be sure to pack all of the mortar into place and be careful that there aren’t any holes left. At this point, you can just let the mortar dry and cure, which may take up to several days.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

Let’s go over some quick tips and tricks to help you achieve the best results when repairing cracks in brick walls.

  • If there are bricks cracked along with the mortar, there is no point in leaving those bricks there and just repairing the mortar. You do also want to remove and replace any damaged bricks.
  • Always perform this task on a nice day when it is fairly warm, sunny, and not very humid. Wet weather will not do you any favors when attempting to repair brick walls.
  • Always be sure to wear gloves and long sleeves, as well as eye protection, because mortar can actually be quite corrosive and you want to limit your contact with it.
  • Do not perform this task when temperatures are below freezing, as the mortar will not set or cure properly.


As you can see, whether the cracks are small or large, fixing cracks in brick walls is actually fairly easy. You don’t have to be a professional to fix those cracks, and it’s not like building a brick wall from scratch. This is something that you can do for a fairly low cost and can be accomplished in just a few hours.