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Spring offers the perfect opportunity to assess the impact that the winter weather may have had on your historic brick home's walkways. Cracked, buckling or uneven bricks can compromise the safety and aesthetics of your property. Keeping your brick walkways safe and attractive will allow you to enjoy the outdoor season without the worry of accidents or further damage. Regular maintenance is crucial to preserve the integrity and charm of your brick home, and it's wise to consider enlisting the help of professional craftspeople for repairs. So take the right path this spring: inspect and repair your brick walkway.

Why Spring is the Ideal Time for Inspection and Repair

The main advantage of inspecting and repairing your walkway in the spring is avoiding the summer rush for outdoor renovations, when repairs can take much longer as the highly qualified contractors quickly fill their calendars. The spring weather is perfect for an outdoor inspection, and will be comfortable for workers to get repairs done expeditiously, if any are necessary. 

Get your walkway ready for visitors well ahead of summertime entertaining. Well-maintained brick walkways and charming paths leading to your home or to the backyard area will make your guests feel welcome and safe. 

Recognizing Common Brick Walkway Issues

A combination of frigid winter temperatures, freeze-thaw cycles and de-icing salt can wreak havoc on a brick walkway. Leftover moisture can turn to ice when the temperature drops. Water freezes as it expands, and this expansion can cause your bricks to crack. These damaged bricks compromise the structural integrity of the walkway, creating problems down the road.

Freeze-thaw cycles do more than cause cracked bricks.  As the ground freezes and thaws, it can heave (rise up) or sink lower. This causes your brick to shift, leading to uneven surfaces and tripping hazards. The affected bricks should be reset and replaced, and in severe cases, the entire base may need to be relevelled. 

Winter salt is notorious for damaging the surface of brick, leading to accelerated wear and tear on brick faces, and allowing water to infiltrate the brick.  Worn brick, even on the walkways, can detract from the beauty of your house and affect your home’s aesthetics and curb appeal

The Importance of Professional Brick Repair

Brick walkways are relatively simple to repair compared to other materials like concrete. Working with an historic brick expert makes the job even easier, as the professional can accurately identify the cause of the damage, ensuring the issue will be properly repaired. Historic brick home experts have the experience to assess the damage to the brick, often finding ways to reuse undamaged original bricks as well as sourcing bricks that match in color when needed.  This allows you to maintain the historic authenticity of your home.

Craftspeople who are skilled in repairing historic brick use the right materials and techniques to ensure lasting repairs will blend seamlessly with the existing walkway and work with your home’s design. Perhaps surprisingly, there are times when it might be better to use modern brick on walkways, as it has different properties than historic brick, which could make it a more suitable long-term choice. The historic brick expert can source modern bricks that emulate the original colors and style of the house. Skilled tradespeople can ensure the bricks are set in a traditional way and an appropriate pattern so it will appear as if they have always been there, sustaining your home's charm and curb appeal.

Renaissance Development is the expert in traditional tuckpointing methods, specializing in brick repair and restoration projects in Capitol Hill and many other historic neighborhoods in Washington, DC.  Contact us today to book an inspection or repair of your brick walkways, or if you have inquiries related to the historic integrity and preservation of your old brick home. 


Post by Christina Wilson
Apr 27, 2023 8:30:00 AM