In the historic neighborhoods of Washington DC, brick walkways and steps of homes, in deep reds, oranges and browns, create unique curb appeal for entryways – until they need repair. Bricks that are broken, cracked, buckling or uneven are not only unattractive but also present a safety hazard. Repairs made in the fall will ease the work of clearing ice and snow in the winter.
Winter Weather and Other Hazards
Although brick pavers are very durable and can last a long time, as with any walkway, accidents and damage can happen. Winter's freeze-thaw cycle can disrupt the joints and cause the pavers to shift. They retain some moisture and may crack or break in more extreme cold weather. If the bricks are buckling upward there may be a tree root beneath them which will need to be cut and removed. If the bricks are sinking, it’s possible that the original work was not sufficiently leveled at installation or that erosion has occurred. In any case, the bricks should be reset and replaced.
Restore the Original Look
Fortunately, unlike some other materials, a brick walkway is fairly easy to repair. Whether the need is for a few bricks to be replaced or a more significant repair, the rebuilding process can be completed quite efficiently. It is often possible to reuse some of the original bricks to allow the walkway to retain its original historic feel. If there aren’t enough undamaged bricks to be reused, others that match are available through specialized supply companies. Further, once the repairs are made, the benefits of low maintenance and durability are restored.
In the U.S., Americans have used clay brick pavers since the earliest colonial days. Some pavers are still in service after 200 years. - The Brick Industry Association (BIA)
For your historic home in DC, brick repair with traditional methods and materials for a walkway will restore the original charm or grandeur of the entry way.
Renaissance Development, a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation, specializes in the restoration of a historic brick building’s mortar joints using traditional methods (tuckpointing) and materials. Contact us for a free site visit and project quote.