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How to Replace a Brick Facade on the Front of a House

Nat Fondell

Old brick facades can easily become rundown over the years, and once a section of the surface begins to go, it is all too easy for the crumbling or rotting section to pull down other portions of the facade. Often, a complete replacement of the surface with a new brick veneer surface is the best option, as this prevents the problem from recurring, which a spot-fix would not do. The process for a complete reinstallation of brick veneers takes some time and effort but yields superior results.

Replacing a crumbling brick veneer is a curb-appeal booster.

Step 1

Remove the old brick facade using a pry bar, starting at the top of each wall, thus preventing the top of the wall from toppling down when a lower section is removed. Break off any sections of the brick facade that are particularly well-attached, using a hammer and a large chisel.

Step 2

Prepare the exposed surface by sanding it with a power sander and course sandpaper. Wipe the entire surface clean, removing all sawdust.

Step 3

Roll out waterproof paper-backed lath over the surface of the wall, starting at the bottom and working upward. Stretch the lath tight and attach it to the wall by hammering in 2-inch galvanized nails through the lath and into the wall every 6 inches along the edges of the lath, and every 12 inches in a grid for the middle sections of the lath. Overlap all seams by 4 inches and do not make seams on the corners of the home.

Step 4

Spread a 1/4-inch thick layer of mortar across the lath, using a trowel. Spread the mortar evenly in all parts covered with lath. Let the mortar dry for 30 minutes, then scrape the entire mortared surface with a metal rake, covering the surface with horizontal and vertical scratches to increase future mortar adhesion. Let the mortar dry for 48 hours.

Step 5

Apply mortar in a 1/4-inch thick layer to the back of each brick veneer and push it against the wall, beginning at the top. Hold it in place for 30 seconds and continue to apply the veneers. Cut the veneers, if necessary, using a saw prior to installation. Let the bricks dry for a few hours, then apply grout between them as desired. Let dry for 48 hours.