Fix-It Chick: Resurface brick walkway, patio

Brick walkways and patios are timeless, durable additions to any home, but over time the joints between the bricks can become compromised. Brick walkway or patio mortar joints need to be almost level with the brick tops to avoid water damage, as well as to deter unwanted plant growth. Repairing the mortar joints between walkway or patio bricks is easier than you think.

Step 1: Level the playing field by removing any loose or sunken bricks. Use a chisel to clean away old mortar from the brick sides. Fill the empty spots in the walkway or patio with a layer of sand and carefully replace the bricks. Use a level to confirm the bricks are set at the proper height before proceeding.

Step 2: Thoroughly clean the brick walkway or patio. If necessary, use a pressure washer to remove excess dirt and debris from the mortar joints.

Step 3: Once the brick area is completely dry, sweep dry jointing sand or Type N mortar mix into the cracks and crevices of the patio or walkway.

Step 4: Use a brick jointer tool or an appropriately sized piece of wood to pack the dry mortar or jointing sand down into the crevices. Add more material as needed until all of the joints are solid and level with the brick surface.

Step 5: Sweep away excess mortar or jointing sand from the brick surfaces as thoroughly as possible. Any mortar left on the brick surface will need to be cleaned away with a solution of muriatic acid and water. To avoid this, be certain the brick surfaces are clear of dry material before proceeding.

Step 6: Use a garden hose attachment or tank sprayer to gently mist the filled joints. Avoid overwatering. Keep the joints moist for at least an hour, misting when necessary.

Allow the jointing sand or mortar to harden thoroughly for at least a day before using the patio or walkway.

— Have a home improvement question for Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at