The Ultimate DIY Guide to Repairing a Damaged Brick Patio

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated May 24, 2022
A dining area and swimming pool
Photo: TimAbramowitz / E+ / Getty Images

Be the hero of your own patio

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Difficulty: 3/5 — Perfect for Handy Homeowners

Time to Complete: 180–300 minutes 

What You’ll Need


  • Flat pry bar

  • Screwdriver (optional)

  • Hammer (optional)

  • Two-by-four lumber

  • Tamper (optional)

  • Chisel

  • Wheelbarrow or mixing tub

  • Pointing trowel 

  • Rubber mallet

  • Pressure washer

  • Push broom


  • Bricks

  • Sand

  • Mortar

When you bought your house, the quaint brick patio was a big part of its landscaping charm. However, after a few delightful summers filled with barbecues on your gorgeous hardscape, you start to notice problems. Maybe some of the mortar between the bricks is cracked or missing, or perhaps you start to notice some areas sinking. 

Your next best step is probably contacting a local mason. However, if you’re interested in taking the job on, read our guide below to understand the steps you can take to fix the problem yourself. For a confident DIYer or a relatively handy homeowner who wants to build their skillset, repairing a damaged brick patio is an approachable job.   

How to Prepare For Brick Patio Repair

The first step is to determine the problem. With a damaged brick patio, you’re likely facing one of two issues: either parts of the brick have begun to sink, creating an uneven surface, or some of the mortar joints are missing or starting to chip away. If you’re dealing with a sinking patio, the steps you take to repair it will vary depending on whether or not it was set with mortar.

Whichever of these repair jobs you end up taking on, keep in mind that thoughtful staging is an important part of any brick patio repair job. The task requires some heavy materials and tools, so find a spot near the patio to keep everything, but not so close that it will get in the way of your work. Also, don’t be afraid to call on a buddy to help you, especially with the heavy lifting.

6 Steps to Repair a Sinking Brick Patio Without Mortar

A man laying gray concrete paving slabs
Photo: redtea / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Take these steps to re-level sinking areas in a patio that has been laid without mortar. 

1. Remove Problem Bricks

Use a flat pry bar to remove all the bricks in the sinking area. The first brick will be the most difficult to remove. Find a brick with a relatively exposed corner or edge—and if one doesn’t exist, use a screwdriver and a hammer to create a gap into which you can fit the pry bar. Once you remove the first brick, work outwards until you clear the whole problem area. 

Use a crayon to number each good brick as you remove them before setting them aside. Doing this helps you know the right order in which to replace them. 

2. Add Sand

Survey the sand bed beneath the bricks and determine the problem areas. There should be a fully even, 1-inch layer. Pour a bit of new sand onto the areas where the level dips. Be conservative—it’s easier to add more sand where there’s too little during the leveling stage than to remove it where there’s too much. 

3. Level the Sand

Once you have spread the sand, use your two-by-four to spread and level the sand. You can also use a tamper to pack the 1-inch layer of sand tightly and evenly.

4. Place Your Bricks

Starting from a corner, set your bricks back into place. Line them up tightly up against one another and tap each one into place with a rubber mallet. 

5. Fill the Cracks

Once all the bricks are in place, sprinkle a layer of sand—about half an inch—all over the patio surface. With your broom, sweep the sand over the cracks, allowing it to fill them in and keep the bricks level. 

6. Wait for Rain and Repeat

Once you’ve filled all the cracks with sand, you’re done for the day—but there’s one more step. Wait until the next heavy rainfall. Once the rain has stopped and the patio has dried, you’ll fill the cracks one more time. Sprinkle another layer of sand over the surface and sweep it into any remaining cracks between the bricks.

4 Steps to Repair a Sinking Brick Patio With Mortar

Two deck chairs on brick patio
Photo: Peter Samuels / DigitalVision / Getty Images

If your patio is set in mortar, you’ll take slightly different steps to re-level any sinking areas. 

1. Remove Problem Bricks

Remove all the bricks in the problem areas with a chisel, prying off the old mortar from the edges of each brick as you lift them and off of the bricks that lay around them. 

2. Mix the New Mortar

Before relaying the bricks, you’ll need to mix your mortar in a wheelbarrow or mixing tub. Follow the instructions on the package, but it’s generally one part cement to three parts sand, adding water as you go until it takes a muddy consistency. 

3. Lay the Base

Spread a layer of mortar about a half-inch thick onto the area left beneath the removed bricks. Level it with your trowel. 

4. Lay the Bricks

Use your pointing trowel to apply a three-quarter-inch thick layer of mortar on the sides of each brick before pushing them into place on the base. Make sure each new brick is tightly packed against its neighbors. Once all the bricks are down, fill in any remaining gaps at the tops of each brick with mortar with the pointing trowel. Allow the mortar to cure and then sweep away any excess with a broom.

4 Steps to Repair Damaged Mortar in a Brick Patio

If there are gaps and cracks in the mortar between your patio bricks, replacing them is an easy DIY job.

1. Thoroughly Clean the Patio

First, carefully use a pressure washer to give the patio a thorough deep cleaning. This step is necessary to clear away any excess damaged mortar and to give you a clearer picture of the color of the mortar you’ll need. 

2. Identify the Type of Mortar

To make repairs, you need to use a type of mortar that matches the original color and grain size. 

3. Mix the New Mortar

Once you’ve got the proper kind of mortar, you’ll need to mix one part sand with one part cement, adding water as you mix them together in your tub. This ratio produces the stronger mortar required for a patching job. Fill your grout bag to the halfway point before proceeding. 

4. Apply the Mortar 

At each spot where there is missing, cracked, or damaged mortar, wet the existing layers with a small amount of water. Using the grout bag, fill each crack with the patching mortar until the layer is a bit higher than the bricks surrounding the joint. Let the mortar cure, and then use your trowel to scrape off any excess, leaving the joints level with the bricks.

DIY Brick Patio Repair vs. Hiring a Pro

Repairing a brick patio can be a tricky job, and the consequences of not getting it exactly right are sometimes frustrating and expensive. If you’re not confident in your ability to re-level your patio or repair the mortar—and you don’t have the patience or budget to stretch your skills with an ambitious project—you can always hire a local masonry repair contractor

Mortar repair typically costs between $10 and $20 per square foot. The charge includes removal of the old, damaged mortar and tuckpointing or repointing. New bricks cost between $0.35 and $0.75 each. Nationally, homeowners pay an average of $1,200 for professional brick patio repair, though a smaller job might cost as little as $300. The good news is that you’ll pay significantly less than the cost of building a new patio.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.