Get expert advice before taking on brick repairs

Q My 50-year-old brick house has some windowsills that are as good as new, but others are rotted. Too, some of the brickwork is cracked and loose. In order to repair the brick wall and install new window frames, will all the bricks above the frames have to be removed? How would you go about making both kinds of repairs? Jane Thornton State College, Pa.

A A professional view of the condition of the existing brickwork is first required. How badly in disrepair is the masonry? Does it show structural failure? Does it need only regrouting? Are major structural, or merely cosmetic, corrections required?

I would hire an experienced masonry contractor to inspect the brickwork and give recommendations on how to repair it. You may need the help of an engineer to do the job.

Window-frame replacement relates to the information gathered from inspection of the brickwork. What will happen to the surrounding brick when the old frames are removed should be determined ahead of time.

In other words, masonry repairs and new window frames may require some incisive planning and knowledgeable execution to avoid further unwanted structural or aesthetic problems.

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