Step by Step

The latest home improvement project: Repairing the brick steps out in front of the house. Over the years, a few bricks have come loose, apparently due to some poor mortar joints letting water in between the bricks:
steps_gaps-2010-07-25-12-40.jpg

Freeze-thaw cycles cause the joints to expand, eventually popping bricks loose.

steps_brick_hole-2010-07-25-12-40.jpg

What we started with:

Steps_0-2010-07-25-12-40.jpg

So far most of the work is just in digging and chipping out the old mortar:

steps_kim-2010-07-25-12-40.jpg

Besides preparing the surface to re-attach the bricks, we also have to clean the old mortar off of the old bricks, so we can re-use as many as possible. We already know that we need to replace a couple that split, but to keep the “looks” it’s best to use the old ones whenever possible – it’s hard to match color and weathering.

steps_removed_bricks-2010-07-25-12-40.jpg

With the heat this weekend, we’re working in pretty small intervals. We did two hours then retreaded to the coolness of the basement. More to come…

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