Is mortar repair usable for small brick job?

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Jun 6, 2022
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Rocky Mtns
The main water line to our house burst. After the backhoe operator finished up, our yard's topsoil is now basically clay. We decided to go ahead and somewhat xeriscape the yard with native grass and flowers. We are bringing in other soil/sand etc to blend in...and what does this have to do with mortar and bricks, right? To do this, we're going to be adding to the height of the ground's surface. We have two crawl space vents on the side of the house where the ground is lower than the rest of the yard. We thought we'd go ahead and even out this one portion of the ground to be level or even a very slight bit higher than the ground that is next to it. You'll hopefully understand better after looking at this picture that has text boxes in it.


The top of the vent wells will, at best, be even with the ground once we get this old flowerbed leveled and then even with the yard after adding some compost and sand and other topsoil to the nice, new layer of clay that currently sits atop our pummeled lawn. In the second photo that has no text boxes, I think that you can see how badly unleveled it all is, and perhaps you can tell that the top of the vent wells are likely going to be even with the ground.


We have zilch for combined experience when it comes to anything concrete, cement, mortar, et al. Our instructor is YouTube, and all seems relatively straight forward - possibly. You can see this is going to be a very small job, so we want to do it ourselves instead of hiring anyone. Perhaps we'll only need to add one brick in height. We've already learned how to cut the brick so that it will fit atop the wells. One layer of bricks per well will use four bricks.

These are my questions:

  1. I've seen concrete poured atop concrete that worked - connected a concrete basin to the concrete stand to make a bird bath. Can we do similar to this and just put mortar on top of the concrete vent well?
  2. Do we need to add mortar in the brick holes? For one layer of bricks? For two layers?
  3. From what I've seen, we can only get big bags of a premixed mortar (just add water), and we will have little use for what is leftover. However, I noticed that there is a Quikrete product called "Fast Repair Mortar" that comes in 20 pound buckets. There is also a 16 pound bucket of "adhesive mortar", but it is three times the price of the 20 lb. Can we use the repair as the mortar for the bricks?
  4. Is 16 pounds too much? Not enough?
  5. If not, what can we use? I saw there is a difference between N and S mixes, and it seems that N would be fine, if I understood correctly. S is for structural building while N is for less important building, such as stuff in the yard. Is this correct?
Thank you for any help and/or advice you can give!


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Sep 30, 2006
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An Item to keep in mind, in raising the height of the dams surrounding your subfloor accesses, is that height, because you want to prevent any potential for water intrusion.

As far as the mortar, since you are adding a row of brick, you also want o allow for enough to provide a cap to the brick, for the aesthetics, unless you are able to locate brick that are designed, as caps, without the holes. also keep in mind any future repairs, with reference to retention, shelf life & storage space.

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