Many historic homes in DC have brick steps and walkways. If properly built and well maintained, these classic entry ways have lasted for decades. Bricks are durable and reflect the formality of the historic design. Repairs should be done in a way that maintains their architectural and structural integrity.
Since historic DC brick stairways seem so solid, it can be troubling when the mortar breaks down or the bricks loosen and break. Loose and crumbling mortar will lead to further damage, requiring repair or replacement of sections of the steps. If severe, the damage creates a safety hazard. Safe brick steps that lead to an entrance are an integral part of the home’s curb appeal.
Rebuild, Replace, or Repair Brick Steps?
If you have a set of brick steps in disrepair, it is important to determine the extent of the problem before beginning a restoration project. Traditional masonry contractors in Washington DC will provide an onsite evaluation of the damage, the extent of the restoration, and cost estimates, free of charge. Here are some examples of what to expect:
- Damaged bricks. Is the problem with the bricks themselves? Are they loose, cracked or spalling? Are some missing? If so, individual bricks can be replaced.
- Loose bricks. These can be removed and then replaced or reset.
- Mortar joints. Are the mortar joints cracking or loose? If the bricks are in good shape, the joints can be tuckpointed.
If the damage is severe, the entire structure might need replacement. Rebuilding brick steps will ensure that the foundation is secure and will maintain its structural integrity over time. The new staircase can be constructed in the existing footprint. Owners who want to maintain the authentic value of their homes, will consult restoration specialists who use traditional methods (tuckpointing) and materials.
Renaissance Development, a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation, specializes in historic DC brick repair and restoration projects in Capitol Hill, Shaw, Logan Circle, Adams Morgan and other areas in Washington, DC. Contact us for a free site visit and project quote.