Easiest and/or best way to repair a small hole in a brick wall?
October 23, 2010 9:28 AM   Subscribe

DIYFilter: I have a small hole in a brick wall. Can I use expanding-foam to repair it?

For reasons not relevant to my question, I had to move a dryer vent to a different spot on the back wall of my house. Unfortunately, I now have a small hole in the wall where the old vent used to be.


Hole in context

It's near the grade, behind a bush. I'm thinking about putting a small bit of hardware cloth behind the hole (as a matrix), filling the whole thing with Great Stuff, sanding it flush when it's dried and hitting it with a little bit of paint. Is this a bad idea?

(Or should I try my hand at filling it with some mortar? And what kind?)

Because of where it is, appearance isn't super important, but I don't want to have to redo this in a year or two and I need to keep the critters (and the weather) out.
posted by jquinby to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Stuff it with some steel wool before filling it with expanding foam. This will keep rodents from chewing through it. If you find a brick to fill the hole, be sure to use a proper mortar mix and not just cement straight out of the bag (or it might be too hard and crack to face off your bricks). When you're finished, wipe the bricks all clean with something rough like a carpet scrap.

I'd seal it up with foam and cover it with one of these low-profile louvered dryer vents.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:55 AM on October 23, 2010

The answer to your question is yes that will work, but it wouldn't take a whole lot more work to fix it correctly. I would chisel out those two small pieces of brick on the top row and the brick on the bottom that is worn away. Looks like you will need 3 bricks to fill the new hole one whole brick on top and 1 and a half on the bottom. Mix up some mortar and set the bottom row. Then lay mortar on that row and place the top brick. Your going to have to have the equivalent of a frosting bag to squeeze the mortar on the top and sides of the bricks. Make the mortar lines match with your finger, clean them and call it done.
posted by Buckshot at 10:24 AM on October 23, 2010

A dryer vent hole ain't small. Better to do the job right and use what's there: bricks. Chip out The remains of what's there and put a couple of new ones in there to replace it. It's not all that hard to do. You'll need a brick chisel, but they're not very expensive or borrow use of a wet saw. And a couple of extra bricks because they never quite split exactly the way you need.

Foam for big holes is a hassle. It tends to sag way too much. By the time you work around doing it the wrong way it'd have been easier and probably cheaper to go bricks and mortar.

The biggest reason for doing it right is resale value. When you get around to selling it'd seem stupid to have a half-ass patch job turn around and be a haggling issue.
posted by wkearney99 at 11:31 AM on October 23, 2010

I wouldn't use the foam. If the chisel out a brick approach recommended by buckshot and wkearney99 seems a little much for you you can always clean the hole by chipping whatever brick is easy, then fill the hole with half a brick and whatever brick fragments you can find to fill it and pack with mortar. It won't be as pretty as redoing the courses of bricks, but it'll be a heck of a lot more permanent than expanding foam.
posted by true at 11:39 AM on October 23, 2010

Response by poster: OK, so it's pretty much unanimous that brick is the proper to go. I'll plug it temporarily until I can take a swing at it next weekend. These things seem to crop up whenever I'm getting ready to leave town.

Thanks, all!
posted by jquinby at 12:12 PM on October 23, 2010

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