How to Repair an Adobe Wall

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Things You'll Need

  • Adobe plaster

  • Trowel

  • Adobe mortar

  • Adobe bricks for bigger repairs

Tip

An adobe wall covered with natural adobe plaster requires routine repair, especially if exposed to the weather. As the plaster cracks or erodes it should be replaced. Adobe bricks are relatively easy to break into whatever size you need to repair the adobe wall. If you plaster over the repaired area you won't actually see the bricks so the repair job doesn't necessarily have to be very attractive.

Warning

Don't replace adobe mortar with lime or cement mortar. Because these don't have the same thermal expansion rates as adobe mortar, they will cause the wall to crack. Don't replace adobe bricks with regular bricks or concrete blocks or cinder blocks. Because these don't have the same thermal expansion rates as adobe mortar, they will cause the wall to crack. It's easy to complete minor repairs. Major cracks or crumbling walls or other structural problems should be left to professionals.

How to Repair an Adobe Wall. Adobe bricks are made out of soil and water. Walls made of adobe brick are usually mortared and plastered with the same adobe mixture that makes the bricks. It's not too difficult to make minor repairs to an adobe wall.

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Repair the Plaster

Step 1

Scrape deteriorated or cracked plaster off of the wall.

Step 2

Make adobe plaster using the same basic adobe mixture as the bricks.

Step 3

Spray the area you are going to patch with water to get it a little wet.

Step 4

Coat the area with the plaster until you fill out any depressions and cracks match the preexisting plaster.

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Step 5

Allow the plaster to dry.

Repair the Mortar

Step 1

Remove loose or deteriorated adobe mortar from the joint between the bricks.

Step 2

Scrape mortar out of the joint to a depth of two or three times the width of the mortar joint.

Step 3

Make adobe mortar using the same adobe mixture that makes the bricks although a little wetter. You'll also need some adobe plaster, which is a little dryer than the mortar.

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Step 4

Spray the bricks around the joint you are repairing with water to get it a little wet.

Step 5

Use a trowel to fill in the joint with mortar.

Step 6

Allow the mortar to dry.

Step 7

Plaster over the repaired area with adobe plaster.

Repair the Bricks

Step 1

Scrape out deteriorated brick and patch it with adobe mortar, if the deteriorated part is small.

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Step 2

Make or buy adobe bricks to replace whole bricks or a substantial amount of one.

Step 3

Scrape out and remove deteriorated parts of bricks or whole bricks. It may be necessary to remove some good brick to have a good surface to apply new bricks and mortar.

Step 4

Spray the area you are going to patch with water to get it a little wet.

Step 5

Apply some mortar to the brick and insert it into the wall. Add some mortar if needed to make the patch even with the rest of the wall.

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Step 6

Allow the mortar to dry.

Step 7

Plaster over the repaired area with adobe plaster.

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