DIY brick or stone fence repair

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This article will show you how to repair a brick or stone fence. We will tell you what tools and materials you need for this, give advice on repairing the foundation and masonry, list ways to eliminate cracks, seal and join joints.

DIY brick or stone fence repair

Analysis of the state of the foundation

As a result of winter frosts, thaws and spring melting of snow, the foundation of a stone fence can be flooded, sink or swell. The appearance of such serious problems usually means that the following mistakes were initially made when constructing the foundation:

  • ignoring the features of the structure of the soil and relief at the site;
  • insufficient depth of the foundation;
  • incorrect arrangement of the base (pillow);
  • lack of reinforcement;
  • lack of drainage;
  • poor quality of the fill itself.

Visually, all this manifests itself in the form of through deep cracks along the entire width and height of the foundation, displacement of rows and noticeable deformations (deflections or swelling) of brick or masonry.

DIY brick or stone fence repair

Attempts to repair such a section of the fence using piles, backfilling and compaction of soil or additional pouring of concrete, at best, will lead to the fact that further destruction of the foundation and masonry will only be delayed by several months, and at worst (which happens much more often) – to uneven redistribution load and the beginning of destruction of adjacent sections of the fence. Therefore, the only correct solution is usually a complete dismantling and replacement of the entire fence section with careful observance of technology..

Repair of cracks in the foundation

If the foundation and masonry are not visually displaced, then to determine the nature of the crack (active, expanding or passive), it is necessary to inspect this section of the fence using a level and a plumb line, and also apply a thin layer of alabaster or cement mortar (lighthouse) to the crack. If after a week the lighthouse remains intact, and the crack itself is short and not through, then it is enough to seal it with a solution of the same brand as when pouring the foundation.

DIY brick or stone fence repair

Attention! It is necessary to close even the smallest and seemingly harmless cracks in the foundation immediately after their detection, since moisture entering the cracks and plant roots will tirelessly work to expand them..

Required tools:

  • chisel;
  • a hammer;
  • metal brush;
  • trowel;
  • pressure water crack washer.

Work order:

  • we expand the cracks with a chisel, remove the crumbled pieces of cement along its edges;
  • remove cement and stone chips, clean cracks with a metal brush;
  • rinse with water under pressure, remove dust;
  • we fill cracks with cement mortar.

Repair of support pillars

Due to the presence of a foundation, ordinary supports of a stone or brick fence mainly perform not a load-bearing, but a decorative function. The only exceptions are support pillars to which gates and wickets are attached. Being made of the same material as the main masonry of the fence, the supporting posts must either have a support metal pipe inside, or be reinforced from the outside along the entire height with a welded frame made of metal corners and strips. The gate is attached to such an internal or external frame..

If a stone or brick pillar has already cracked, unable to withstand the weight of an incorrectly installed gate, then any attempts to seal the fasteners back into the masonry will be useless. In this case, it is advisable to completely disassemble the post (including dismantling the foundation) and fold it again, installing a metal pipe inside it and welding the gate fasteners directly to it. Regardless of the depth of the foundation, the support pipe must be deepened into the ground by at least 70 cm.

DIY brick or stone fence repair

A compromise option for repairing a bearing brick or stone pillar (without disassembly) includes the following steps:

  • complete removal of metal fasteners from the masonry;
  • replacement of destroyed bricks;
  • sealing cracks and holes in masonry;
  • reinforcement of the pillar in all four corners with a frame made of metal corners (they must be connected together using metal strips welded or screwed every 40-50 cm).

Identification of cracks in masonry and the causes of their occurrence

Before proceeding with the repair of any crack in the masonry of the fence, it is necessary to find out and eliminate the cause of its occurrence, otherwise the repair will be useless. Cracks in masonry occur for the following reasons:

  1. Combined exposure to moisture, frost and sun.
  2. Problems with the foundation of the fence (their elimination is described above).
  3. Using the wrong types of bricks.
  4. Poor foundation waterproofing.
  5. Use in the same masonry of different brands of bricks and types of stone.

DIY brick or stone fence repair

Obviously, the problems caused by the use of materials that are completely unsuitable for masonry fence materials (for example, unfired, hollow, silicate or insufficiently frost-resistant bricks), as well as the use of different types of stone in one masonry, can only be solved by dismantling and replacing the entire problematic section of the masonry. The same applies to cases when the waterproofing substrate between the foundation and the masonry was not initially properly arranged.

Classification and elimination of cracks, replacement of cracked bricks

Consider the repair of cracks in the masonry of the fence that are not caused by problems with its foundation, that is, those arising as a result of atmospheric influences and natural deterioration of brick and concrete.

Required tools:

  • chisel or scalpel;
  • a hammer;
  • puncher;
  • metal brush;
  • flushing tool;
  • trowel;
  • injector tube and syringe for solution injection;
  • drill and hacksaw for metal.

Work order:

  • installation and subsequent verification of beacons (see above);
  • expanding the crack with a chisel, cleaning it with a brush and rinsing with water under pressure;
  • manual filling with mortar (for shallow cracks up to 8 mm wide);
  • drilling a hole with a perforator and pumping the solution into the masonry (for deep cracks up to 20 mm wide);
  • removal of crushed or split fragments of masonry and installation of a new brick lock (for cracks more than 20 mm wide)
  • installation on both sides of the fence of strips of metal strips or sections of profile attached to the masonry with through bolts or anchors (in the case of especially long and deep cracks).

DIY brick or stone fence repair

In the latter case, strip steel with a width of at least 50 and a thickness of at least 5 mm is used as linings, and metal rods with a thickness of at least 20 mm are used as anchors. The distance between the anchor points must be equal to twice the wall thickness.

Final stage: cleaning, sealing and grouting the masonry

Required tools:

  • for cleaning joints – the same ones used for cleaning and sealing cracks;
  • for filling joints with mortar – trowel, vertical and horizontal jointing, wooden lath, plaster falcon.

Work order:

  • cleaning damaged joints from dirt and residues of old mortar to a depth of 15–20 mm;
  • wetting the masonry with water;
  • filling the joints with mortar;
  • compaction of the mortar and creating the desired shape of the seam using a jointing of a suitable size (after the mortar has set a little to a plastic state);
  • removing mortar residues with a brush or rag.
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