The Ultimate Brick and Concrete Repairs Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Repairing old brickwork and crumbling concrete isn't as difficult as it may seem. With a bit of knowhow, the right equipment and some elbow grease, you can do a next-to-professional job at a fraction of the price. So roll up your sleeves and see if you've got what it takes by taking this quiz.

What is the best definition of tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is the name given to the technique of repairing loose mortar joints.

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Why is it unwise to neglect loose mortar joints?

Don't neglect loose mortar joints. Otherwise, moisture may seep in and cause damage to the interior walls.

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Which of these are appropriate tools for tuckpointing?

Appropriate tools for tuckpointing are safety goggles, heavy hammer and a cold chisel, in addition to other useful tools.

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When mixing the mortar, why should you test it out first on cardboard?

Testing the mortar first on cardboard allows you to check if you've made the right color shade for the joints you're fixing.

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How do you retain the same shape when you're tuckpointing V-shaped mortar joints?

You keep the V by using the point of the trowel to make the shape.

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Approximately how long would it take you to replace a chimney brick?

It would take about 1-2 hours. This allows time for chiseling out the old brick, mixing the mortar, applying the new mortar, etc.

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If you're having trouble removing a loose brick, what should you do?

Break it up with a chisel or sledgehammer, being careful not to damage the surrounding bricks.

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When you test out the mortar on cardboard, what happens when it dries?

The color gets lighter as it dries. And once this happens, you can more accurately assess the color match to the existing mortar.

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You've just replaced a new brick in your chimney and the mortar has set well. What's the final thing you need to do?

Take a stiff scrubbing brush and brush briskly in order to remove any excess mortar.

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What do you use a chisel for when repairing concrete steps?

You chisel out the worn edges of the steps and remove any crumbling concrete.

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You've put down fresh concrete on your old steps. Now, you cover the steps and let the patches cure for a few days. What do you use as a cover?

It's best to use a plastic dropcloth. Meanwhile, spray and respray the recast steps with water before covering each time again with the dropcloth.

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How long does it take for new concrete steps to cure?

It usually takes about one week to cure.

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While repairing cracks in concrete block, you notice that the cracks are very wide and deep. How do you fill them?

Mix up a thin grout mixture using filler, Portland cement, lime and sand.

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Can you paint both mortar-filled cracks and grout-filled cracks with exterior paint?

Yessiree. You can use exterior paint on both kinds.

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How do you apply thin grout to patch a wide crack?

You pour the grout into a funnel that is connected to rubber tubing held in place with a board. You'll need to do this with a helper.

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There's a nasty pothole in your driveway and you're going to repair it. You've been advised to wear safety goggles for the job. Why?

The goggles are to protect your eyes during the chiseling-out stage. It's also vital when you use a sledgehammer to remove any remaining old concrete.

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What is the manufacturer's recommendation regarding the right concrete for small or large holes?

According to the concrete manufacturer, you should use sand mix for small holes but gravel mix for large ones.

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After applying fresh cement to fill a pothole, you smooth it with a wood cement float. How long do you do this for?

You keep smoothing down the cement in even sweeps till the surface has a film of water again.

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You cover the fresh cement with a plastic dropcloth, but the wind is starting to pick up. What can you do to avoid blowing?

Simply weight down the dropcloth at the edges so that the wind doesn't interfere with your new repair job.

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How many times a day during the curing period should you spray the fresh concrete with water?

For about a week, which is the approximate length of the curing period, you should spray the concrete with water several times a day.

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