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How do I repair a double-brick apartment's walls for large holes found during renovations?

Al_DIYer
New Contributor

How do I repair a double-brick apartment's walls for large holes found during renovations?

Hi folks, I'm new to this community and am currently in the midst of a reno of my ground-floor 1960s double-brick apartment. The previous owners fully renovated about 10-15 years ago, but tenants of those owners have left the apartment in a state.

So I'm renovating the bathroom, kitchen, and replacing the flooring of all the rooms. I've contracted a company to renovate my bathroom, but budget-wise, I'll need to do as much of the kitchen renovations myself as possible.

As I've gone through the strip-out process, it became more and more apparent that they cut numerous corners during the previous renovations.

 

I've DIY fixed cracks and holes in plaster boards & ceilings before for my folks, however most of the walls in this apartment are brick, rendered over with concrete/mortar and plaster.

I'd love some advice on how best to patch these types of walls myself, and the best type of products to patch it well both for structural integrity and compatibility with the existing wall, and aesthetically. I've noted below each of the areas I'll need to fix.

 

1. I have a hole found after I removed the skirting in one room. It's around 4 fingers wide and is like a mini tunnel leading to the external brick wall. This is directly below a window. It also looks like the concrete foundation has dampness coming in from the outside as well. (There are no broken bricks/deteriorated mortar or signs of water damage that I could see from outside the property, and there are no pipes/plumbing near this room above or below. The plumbing is all on the other side of the building.)

I'd like to fill the hole where the brick for the internal wall is missing, and seal/protect this portion of the concrete from moisture. (I plan to install SPC/Hybrid flooring after this is done.)

I also want to repair the broken parts of the rendering along the skirting area so bugs have nowhere to hide (I found numerous carcasses of all types of bugs and insects in those spots).

PXL_20210405_075434387.jpg

 

2. I have stripped-out the kitchen and have found this huge hole where previous renovators removed a portion of the internal brick wall (approx 50cm x 900cm) and relied on kitchen cabinetry backboard to do the job of an internal wall instead.

There is a metal plate covering the removed external bricks for the gas hot water power supply cord to be fed back in to an internal power point. (I'll have an electrician install an external GPO for that.)

I will have plumbers in to rough-in the gas & water for the new layout, however I suspect I'll have to fill in this internal wall myself and replace/patch the missing external bricks.

 

Internal view:

IMAG1571~2.jpg

External view:

IMAG0320~2.jpg

 

3. I'll also be removing the kitchen wall-exhaust fan too, which will be another set of  holes to fill internally & externally.

Internal view:

(Size of the hole is slightly bigger than the round area of the fan.)

IMAG0894~2.jpg

External view:

PXL_20210212_075040126._exported_633_1618071659687.jpg

Any advice, feedback and suggestions on how best to tackle these would be awesome.

 

Cheers,

Al

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How do I repair a double-brick apartment's walls for large holes found during renovations?

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community Al (@Al_DIYer). It's fantastic that you've joined us, and many thanks for your questions.

 

For general filling of smaller holes like your first image and in brickwork or cement, you can use Timbermate 500g Concremate Expanding Cement. Push the filler as deep into the hole as you can and finish it slightly proud of the surface. When the filler is dry, you can then use a Trojan Concrete Rubbing Stone to smooth it back flush with the wall's surface.

 

You could paint Dunlop 4L Damp-Proof Waterproofing over the concrete to assist it stopping that damp from reaching your Hybrid flooring. You might also like to use QEP Silver Laminate Floating Floor Underlay as a secondary moisture barrier. Ideally, it would be great to identify how the water is entering the property and fix that issue instead of using band-aid solutions inside. As you have mentioned, if there are no obvious ingress routes on the property's exterior, then a more thorough investigation would need to be undertaken.

 

You should find these steps useful when replacing the bricks:

 

 

  • Now that you are ready to put the new bricks in place, you'll need to source them. We carry CSR PGH 230 x 110 x 76mm Builders Clay Brick, or you might need to take a photo of your bricks and visit a brickyard to find a matching brick.

 

  • Mix up some Australian Builders 20kg Mortar Mix in a bucket with water following the bag's directions. Start by wetting down the exposed bricks on the wall. Use a brick trowel to scoop some of the mortar and lay it on the dampened bricks. Now apply mortar to the side of your new brick. Lay the brick in position on the wall on top of the bed you previously laid. Bed the brick into position by tapping it lightly with your trowel's handle until it lines up with the other bricks. Continue doing this until all your bricks are in position.

 

  • Use a Kango 10mm Tuck Pointer to push mortar in between the joints of the bricks as deep as possible. Run a Convex Brick Jointer over your joints to form a coved profile in them. Wipe off any residual mortar on the brick's surface and do a final cleanup of the joints with the convex jointer.

 

After your repair work has dried sufficiently, you can begin the rendering process of the internal walls. You should find these step-by-step guides useful:

 

 

 

 

You'll need a QEP Easy Grip SpongeDunlop Renderer's Hawk ToolQEP Handyperson FloatKango 355mm Taping KnifeDunlop 160mm Renderers BrushDTA 2400mm Tile Straight Edge, and Davco 20kg PM Render to complete the rendering.

 

Please let me know if you have questions.

 

Mitchell

 

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Al_DIYer
New Contributor

Re: How do I repair a double-brick apartment's walls for large holes found during renovations?

Thanks for the advice Mitchell @MitchellMc!

Looks like I'll have a lot of investigation and research to do, so thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

 

Cheers,

Al

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How do I repair a double-brick apartment's walls for large holes found during renovations?

I look forward to following along with your project @Al_DIYer. Let us know when you start each section, and I trust our members will have plenty of advice for you along the way. We're here to help.

 

Mitchell

 

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