Brick Replacement

Inevitably, if you have masonry work in climates such as Michigan, where you have a range of seasons, you will have damaged brick.  There are a variety of reasons brick can become damaged.  Obviously, if by some kind of act of God or impact such as car accident or lightning, your brick will take structural damage.
Michigan reclaim brick deterioration  
More commonly, brick become damaged from moisture.  Most brick are made of clay and while often resistant to moisture, brick are not waterproof.  Some brick, in fact, are very porous and will absorb moisture like a sponge.  When the climate changes and that moisture freezes or thaws, your brick can begin to deteriorate or spall.
When the face pops off of a brick, it is referred to as a spalled brick.  This is a very common occurrence in Michigan where I perform most of my masonry repairs and construction.  When your brick becomes spalled it is necessary to remove the damaged brick and replace it.  For the homeowner this can be a fairly labor intensive job.
The first step in this process for a homeowner is to cut away the damaged bricks.  This is done by attaching a diamond blade to a circular saw and cutting into the mortar joints around the damaged brick.  The brick is then removed with a chisel and hammer.  It is best to start at the top when removing damaged brick, and work your way down.
Once you have removed the damaged brick, make sure to chisel out any excess mortar so when you place the new brick in you can lay it plum and level.

For the contractor, I recommend using a hammer drill or rotary hammer that has a chisel only setting.  This is a far more effective and less labor intensive way to remove damaged masonry units, but many homeowners may not want to invest the extra money into this tool.
Before you begin laying your new brick it is best to lay the brick dry.  Laying the brick dry is when you set the brick into the open area to ensure that it will fit cleanly and lay properly before you set it in with mortar.  The benefit of laying dry brick is that once you actually set the brick in mortar, you do not run the risk of having to relay it again in order to achieve a good looking finished product.
After laying the dry brick, you will want to mix your mortar.  Good mortar should have the consistency of whipped mashed potatoes.  Spread your mortar evenly below where you plan on laying the brick.  Once you have a nice, even layer of mortar, place your brick into the exposed area.
There are two ways to fill in the vertical and horizontal mortar joints on the side and top of the brick.  The first method is to fill your trowel with mortar.  Then take a tuckpointer and press the mortar into the exposed joint.
The second method to fill in your exposed mortar joints is to fill a grout bag with your mortar and squirt the mortar into the crevices between the brick.  Using a grout bag is similar to decorating a cake, and looks very similar to a cake decorating bag.
Once all your mortar joints are filled you will want to let your mortar set up, or harden slightly.  After your mortar has begun to harden it is time to tool the mortar joints.  Mortar joints are tooled in several different ways.  There is the concave joint, the rough joint, the weeping joint, or the rake joint.  For more information on types of joints, go to Masonry Joints
I hope you have found this information useful.  For a free consultation on masonry repair feel free to call Brick Repair LLC at 248-895-7752, or visit  Brick Repair LLC services the following communities:

Michigan Chimney Repair, Masonry Construction, Fireplace Construction, and Masonry Contractor. Brick Repair LLC is happy to serve the following communities: Auburn Hills, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield township, Brighton, Canton, Clarkston, Clawson, Commerce, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Ferndale, Drayton Plains, Eastpointe, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Grosse pointe, Highland, Highland Park, Howell, Hunington Woods, Keego Harbor, Lake Orion, Lathrup Village, Lincoln Park, Livonia, Madison Heights, Milford, New Hudson, Northville, Novi, Oak Park, Orchard Lake, Orion, Orchard Lake, Ortonville, Pontiac, Redford, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Romulus, Roseville, Royal Oak, South Lyon, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Sylvan Lake, Troy, Utica, Walled Lake, Waterford, West Bloomfield, White Lake Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, Livingston County Michigan Chimney repair