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The Ultimate Brick and Concrete Repairs Quiz
by Staff
Repairing old brickwork and crumbling concrete isn't as difficult as it may seem. With a bit of knowhow, the right equipment and some elbow grease, you can do a next-to-professional job at a fraction of the price. So roll up your sleeves and see if you've got what it takes by taking this quiz.

What is the best definition of tuckpointing?

  • crumbling brick mortar joints
  • repair work on loose mortar joints
  • damaged mortar joints

Why is it unwise to neglect loose mortar joints?

  • because moisture can penetrate and do damage to the interior walls
  • because you might regret it
  • because the house will lose heat

Which of these are appropriate tools for tuckpointing?

  • sandpaper, saw and tape measure
  • screwdriver, clean rag and pliers
  • safety goggles, heavy hammer and cold chisel

When mixing the mortar, why should you test it out first on cardboard?

  • in order to see if it can be absorbed by the cardboard
  • in order to test for the right color as it dries
  • in order to experiment with the right texture

How do you retain the same shape when you're tuckpointing V-shaped mortar joints?

  • You use a small-diameter metal pipe.
  • You use your fingers to mold the shape.
  • You use the point of the trowel to make the same shape.

Approximately how long would it take you to replace a chimney brick?

  • ½-1 hour
  • 1-2 hours
  • 2-3 hours

If you're having trouble removing a loose brick, what should you do?

  • Break it.
  • Call an expert.
  • Keep pulling.

When you test out the mortar on cardboard, what happens when it dries?

  • It smells.
  • It gets darker.
  • It gets lighter.

You've just replaced a new brick in your chimney and the mortar has set well. What's the final thing you need to do?

  • Light a fire.
  • Wash it down with a hose.
  • Brush with a stiff brush to remove excess mortar.

What do you use a chisel for when repairing concrete steps?

  • to make matters worse
  • to chisel out the worn edges and remove crumbling concrete
  • to chisel out the excess concrete after you have applied a fresh layer

You've put down fresh concrete on your old steps. Now, you cover the steps and let the patches cure for a few days. What do you use as a cover?

  • a plastic dropcloth
  • a sheet of tarpaulin
  • a hessian cloth

How long does it take for new concrete steps to cure?

  • four days
  • one week
  • two weeks

While repairing cracks in concrete block, you notice that the cracks are very wide and deep. How do you fill them?

  • with pure Portland cement
  • with a thin grout mixture
  • with a thick grout mixture

Can you paint both mortar-filled cracks and grout-filled cracks with exterior paint?

  • no, only grout-filled cracks
  • no, only mortar-filled cracks
  • yes, certainly

How do you apply thin grout to patch a wide crack?

  • You pour the grout into a funnel connected to rubber tubing that's held in place with a board.
  • You paint it on with a brush, layer after layer.
  • You use a trowel to slap the grout into place.

There's a nasty pothole in your driveway and you're going to repair it. You've been advised to wear safety goggles for the job. Why?

  • to protect your eyes when you apply fresh cement
  • to protect your eyes against the reflective sun rays
  • to protect your eyes when you chisel out the old concrete

What is the manufacturer's recommendation regarding the right concrete for small or large holes?

  • gravel mix for small holes; sand mix for large ones
  • sand mix for small holes; gravel mix for large ones
  • gravel mix for all holes, regardless of their size

After applying fresh cement to fill a pothole, you smooth it with a wood cement float. How long do you do this for?

  • till the surface is filmed with water again
  • till no water remains on the surface
  • till the cement is dry

You cover the fresh cement with a plastic dropcloth, but the wind is starting to pick up. What can you do to avoid blowing?

  • Tape down the dropcloth with duct tape.
  • Put another dropcloth on top for added weight.
  • Weigh down the dropcloth at the edges.

How many times a day during the curing period should you spray the fresh concrete with water?

  • once is enough
  • twice is ideal
  • several times a day