To fix brick steps you must first determine the problem and then whats causing it. Do you have loose bricks, stone or mortar? Are the stair treads loose and unsafe to walk on causing risk of an accident for visitors to your home or business?
Are the riser heights and stair treads equal depth and height to allow ease of passage? You should not have to think about walking up and down stairs, if you do then you're risking possible accident. Our brains remember foot patterns automatically, resulting in the average foot velocity and step length to create symmetrical walking patterns. When your stairs have different heights it affects stride frequency and cadence causing people to stumble, trip and possibly fall.
Building steps safely and in accordance to Massachusetts building codes is a safety issue far beyond aesthetics. At Thompson Crowley Masonry we have generations of experience working with brick steps and building codes. We carry state licensing allowing us to implement best and up to date building practices.
Brick steps could need repair for several reasons
The first and most obvious of any brick step repair is a problem with the bricks themselves. Are they failing, missing, loose, cracked or spalling?Individual bricks can be replaced by removing the damaged or loose brick with a masonry chisel. You can begin by removing small amounts of the brick, the trick is not to break bricks surrounding the damaged brick. When using a masonry chisel remember that Masonry chisels are typically heavy, with a relatively dull head that wedges and breaks, rather than cuts.
Once the damaged bricks are removed all mortar beds must be cleaned to allow for a the correct bond. Lightly chiseling out the old mortar is essential to maintain the brick and coarse height. When replacing the bricks try to match as closely as possible. When you have clay bricks use a clay brick replacement, likewise with concrete, use concrete. Most bricks can be matched at local masonry supply yards.
Determining a mortar match is easy
You can look at the sand and texture of masonry cement to see if the brick mason used coarse or fine sands. In most repair scenarios coarse sand and a type n mortar works great. You can add a small amount of dye to give it a weathered look and avoid the bright white, tell tale, sign of a repair. Determining what type of joints (space between bricks) the mason used helps to match the steps look. The most popular are flat and slightly recessed joints. You can use a slicker/flat jointer for this look.
After all the mortar joints are packed and replaced with cement, let it cure for 10-15 minutes, then strike the joint with the jointing tool. Strike upward starting with the head joints first then the bed joints. Let this stand for half our or so depending on weather conditions then lightly brush the brick for any excess mortar and a clean appearance. A light cleaning solution can be applied to clean any pigments off bricks.
Brick stairs that have all the bricks in good shape but the mortar joints are cracking or loose can be re-pointed. We chisel and grind out all failing mortar then replace all mortar. Keeping water out of your stairs is key to longevity in Massachusetts.
Steps can be rebuilt in sections and restored to new.
If you are in the market for new brick steps, they can be constructed in the existing footprint of your old steps. Wood steps to masonry steps requires a footing to allow for excessive weight of brick steps.
Brick steps come in many styles and provide a classic New England entryway to your home or business. We offer a wide variety of brick choices and natural stone treads and landing tiles.
If your stairs need to be completely replaced we can help.
By helping with brick selection and natural stone options and railings for your new brick steps. We can provide a detailed, no obligation, free estimate. We provide a written contract for work, permits if required and code compliant installations. All work would be completed by our company with no subcontracting.
Brick Step Repairs
Brick step repairs in Peabody, Salem and Danvers area also servicing Winchester, Burlington and Arlington locations
Thompson Crowley Masonry Inc. is a full service brick steps repair contractor. We are state licensed which is required to build or replace brick stairs in Massachusetts . We carry full insurance for your protection and piece of mind. Our family has been repairing and building brick steps for 50+ years in Massachusetts. When it comes to brick stairs we have you covered.
Brick steps often consist of brick risers and stone treads. We still offer full brick steps with brick treads for a authentic New England look. Brick stairs due to foot traffic and ice (ice melt) need repairs more than traditional masonry would. Brick steps can be repaired or replaced depending on severity of damage and structural concerns.
If your stairs are made from brick or stone we can fix, restore or replace them. Brick replacement or stone setting with new mortar will secure your stairs and restore the structural integrity.
Call today for best brick step repair 617-633-1896