Avoiding Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When Installing A Brick Walkway

2 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Adding a touch of distinguished texture to your property's landscape can be as simple as implementing a new walkway, and this is especially easy if you choose brick or stones as your material to work with. Even though DIY masonry is one job that many homeowners may choose not to tackle on their own, this is one home improvement feature that can be accomplished successfully with the right knowledge and tools. However, here are a few of the biggest mistakes homeowners tend to make when installing a brick walkway on their property and what you should know about avoiding these mistakes in your own project.

Mistake: Not using a stabilizing material beneath the bricks.

Why? Stabilizing material is incredibly important when you are doing any kind of masonry work on the ground. When the ground shifts and settles, it can cause the newly-laid bricks to shift and move as well. Masonry stabilizer acts as a stable layer between the bricks and the ground. This is made up of adhesive polymers and can be found in both dry-sandy form and in a mix that you apply wet. It works to repel moisture, but also offers a solid foundation for the bricks.

Mistake: Using the wrong product as mortar to hold the pathway together.

Why? There are a handful of different types of mortar mix, and not all of them have the same composition or work well with specific types of bricks and stones. While most of the concrete-based mixes will do well with brick, there are also things like hydraulic lime-based mortar mixes, which work best in foundation work for stone masonry because this mortar is more resilient to moisture and heavy pressure. Using the wrong mortar could leave you with a mortar that does not want to bond well to the bricks, which will pretty much defeat the purpose of using it at all.

Mistake: Foregoing the application of a sealant layer when the project is complete.

Why? Most professional masonry contractors use a sealant on the brick walkway when it is complete. This layer of practically invisible material seeps into all of the tiny pores of the mortar and brick to give it a protective finish. You can skip this process, but not applying it can lead to water damage and signs of age, mold, and mildew rather quickly.

Installing a brick walkway can completely change the look of your landscape, but if you are not familiar with masonry, this is a task that may be better left to a professional. It is a good idea to talk to a masonry contractor like Trinity Masonry & Concrete for advice and information before you take on this type of project on your own.