Nothing beats having a great outdoor space at your home. Functional outdoor spaces are great for garden parties, al fresco dining, or just for spending a little quality time outdoors on a nice night. A beautiful lawn is great, but a patio is a must if you want to get meaningful use out of your yard throughout the warm months.
But, things that live outdoors in the elements tend to show their age pretty quickly. Your old, broken brick patio may have left your outdoor space feeling a little tired. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to remedy the situation.
Your perfect solution all depends on a few factors. For one, how bad is your current patio? Also, how much do you want to spend, and how do you envision using the space? Asking yourself a few key questions will help you make the best use of the space and structures you already have.
When a brick or paver patio is well kept, it should last for decades. That said, we don’t all have the time to seal and clean our patios as often as we should. If your patio starts to look worn and unkempt, giving it a facelift or replacement will help you feel a whole lot better about spending time there.
The first step in creating the space of your dreams is to assess the situation. What exactly is wrong with the patio you have now?
If you’ve only got a handful of crumbling or broken bricks, you can easily replace them to keep your current patio going for a while. If the good bricks are old, you may be better off finding some reclaimed bricks to keep a more uniform patina. A reclaimed brick patio is not only a great way to give you a vintage look, but it’s an environmentally friendly way to beautify your backyard.
If you’ve only got one small section of bricks that broke due to damage, there are some interesting options you can consider. One thing you can do is plant a garden in the space where you removed the broken bricks. You can either plant directly into the ground or build up a raised bed to cover the hole. It will create visual interest, bring some color into your antique brick patio, and even provide a place to set your drink when it’s your turn to toss some bean bags.
If the majority of your brick pavers are broken, you aren’t really left with too many options. You will probably want to replace it with something new. The nice thing about this option is that you can do whatever you want with your space. Consider your broken brick patio a license to get creative.
If you want to go larger with your patio and add a firepit and water feature, you are free to do so. You aren’t bound by the bricks that were laid in the past. You can go with any materials or design you want. There are endless paver patio ideas online, so start surfing and see what strikes you.
This may be the simplest issue to fix. If you are handy and have the right tools, you can even do it yourself. Uneven bricks are a natural result of the settling of the ground and the growth of the nearby foliage. The fix is dependent on the issue you’re facing.
As organic materials in the ground below your patio break down, they will settle, possibly leaving gaps below the pavers. If you’ve got one or two bricks that have sunk due to settling, you can simply remove those bricks,
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve got a large tree nearby, the roots may grow so large that they start pushing up on your patio. Over time, this can affect a large number of the pavers. This requires a much more complicated fix, and if you aren’t comfortable taking on such a sizable project, you’ll likely want to hire this one out.
Repairing a broken brick patio can range from simple to complex, depending on how many bricks are broken, the design of the patio, and whether the patio was installed with compacted sand or mortar.
If you’ve got a straightforward design laid on compacted sand, replacing a couple of bricks won’t be too tough. On the other hand, if you’ve got a complex design held together with mortar, things get a little more difficult. The level of difficulty increases along with the number of bricks that need to be replaced. If you only need to replace a brick or two, you can probably handle it yourself, as long as you follow a few simple steps.
If you’re going to repair or restore old brick patios, the first thing you’ll want to do is clean up the area where you will be working. Not only will cleaning the dirt and grime away help you see what you are working with, but it’s always preferable to work with clean materials. Don’t use a pressure washer, however, as the high pressure can blast out the leveling sand or damage the bricks.
Once you’ve cleaned the area, pry out the broken bricks. Once the bricks are removed, clean out any debris and tamp the ground level with leveling sand. Once the ground is leveled, you can place the new bricks in.
If the broken bricks are held in with mortar, you’ll want to carefully chip away the old mortar and replace it after you’ve replaced the broken bricks. All other steps are the same.
If the damage to your old patio is fairly extensive, or if your current patio doesn’t fit your needs or design sensibilities, it’s probably best to replace the whole thing. The return on investment for beautiful outdoor spaces is much larger than most home improvements you can make.
You can choose whatever material you like, but don’t skimp on the quality. Spending the extra money on solid materials now will go a long way toward increasing the value of your home when it comes time to sell.
If you’re going to replace the entire structure, you’ll have to decide what type of materials you want to use on your new patio. If your broken brick patio was made of pavers, that doesn’t mean you need to use pavers again, and it also doesn’t mean that all paver patios have a short lifespan. With proper maintenance, a quality paver patio can last a very long time.
Choosing concrete pavers means you can save a little money on materials, and you may even be able to find some broken bricks ideas and reuse the bricks from your old patio to accent the new pavers. Since patio pavers are cast from concrete, they are an ideal material for creating geometric shapes and patterns with your patio. Just make sure you clean and seal them every few years.
Sometimes people want an entirely new look, and that’s fine too. There are all kinds of stone on the market, available in a whole array of colors, meaning you can use the material that best suits your personal style and landscape. Stone is also very durable, so you know your new patio will be around for a while. It will cost more than the paver patio would, but again, the return on investment is there.
If you’re not going to use the bricks from your old patio in your new one, there are all kinds of creative options for reusing them in your landscape. They are a very versatile building material, so your options for what to do with old broken bricks are really only limited by your imagination.
Maybe you need a new edger around one of your gardens. Perhaps you want to build an outdoor pizza oven or fire pit for your entertaining space. Old, broken bricks have the unique lines and textures that make them an artistic choice when creating borders and centerpieces alike.
If you don’t want to find yourself fixing another broken brick patio or learning how to clean an old brick patio ten years down the road. Hiring a qualified firm to design and install your patio can deliver the best results. They have the experience and equipment to do it well and ensure your patio doesn’t flood your house or crumble due to the shifting earth and always expanding tree roots.
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