Crumbling patio bricks -- just replace them

Q. Last summer I made a patio of multicolored used bricks which were laid over a sand base. A couple dozen out of the 2,000 bricks have crumbled because of the spring thaw. Were those just weak bricks? Is there some kind of sealer which I could apply to the bricks which will prevent any crumbling the next time around? Tom Hufford Fort Wayne, Ind.

A. You can seal the old brick with a concrete/masonry sealer, of course, but the virtues of such a laborious process are suspect. You would have to dip every brick in a solution for it to do any real good.

Two thousand dips? That's hardly very competent advice, right?

A dozen or two weak, porous old bricks out of a couple thousand is really not all that grim. I'd just replace the bricks that require it each year and let it go at that.

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