Brick Chimney Repair

Bob meets with Ed and Lisa Zywusko, a husband-and-wife masonry team, and sees how they are going to refurbish the old brick chimney.

Clip Summary

Bob meets with Ed and Lisa Zywusko, a husband-and-wife masonry team, and sees how they are going to refurbish the old brick chimney. Ed demonstrates the techniques used to lay the cement and place the bricks in place. Bob tries his hand at it too.
Okay. We're back and right now we're gonna meet Ed and Lisa Zuwisco who are in the masonry contracting business. Hi.

How are you doing?


And you actually called your company Easy Mason because your last name is a little bit difficult to pronounce.



How long have you been working together?

About 10 years.


Have you been married that long?

Nope, just about four now.


Always together.

Do you enjoy doing masonry work?

Yes I do. I get to meet a lot of new people every day, so that makes me a little bit happier.

But, how is it working together every day, then going home together and start graphic. And who cooks when you get home?

Fast food.

Fast food.

Fast food, all summer.


Yeah, I enjoy it because this way we get to go away together. I don't have to ask somebody different, you know...


Can we get away? So, it's a lot easier.

It's neat. And you are. not the apprentice, but certainly the mason's helper at this point.


That's the impression you gave me.


Now let's talk a minute about where we are in the house. We're up on the third right underneath the roof rafters and we got a shingling crew still working up there and we're looking at a masonry mass here it was all broken up at some point in an earlier remodel.

I think that we had maybe a corbel chimney going that way, don't you?

Yes, there was a chimney or a fireplace or something below here and somewhere in a future remodeling, they did have to removed it for some reason and


And underneath the wall, we did find this so we are kind of.

So what they did was they, poured some cement some concrete up here to plug up the rest of the flues that went up, but we have three existing fire places

Yup, still.

On the other side of this masonry. One at this level one in the master bedroom on the second floor and one in the dining room down on the ground floor. So, what was your concern in terms of holding this together?

This area right here behind us is the existing flues for the other fire places and because it's going to be a new stud wall here, we are worried about the temperature, considering before this was not this close.

They are building the biggest bathroom when they can, so this temperature here can get kinda warm. And there was nothing supporting this.

We wanted to make sure there was something there.

Ok, so you were gonna leave these jagged ones sticking out until everything is set up?

Yep, yep, they had used this to hold it up. So we're going to use it for now until we get our new walls up, and then we'll just remove it to where we need to.


And Lisa, you're in charge of mixing, are you?


So what have you got here? Tell us what kind of a mixture you have prepared for.

Well this is a type S mortar and it's just.

Two parts.

Two parts of sand for which is the eight shovels of sand, and I mix it in the wheelbarrow, and I just bring it up and then just got to make sure it's to the right consistency for him to just lay the brick. Let's watch you install some of the brick layer, some of the break. Now what's the first thing you do in terms of

I always want to get a good trail of mortar the first thing that always keep it all in one size.

You don't want to just

You do not want that,

No, you don't want too much of that, you always want just enough it.
So might from the end of the brick first, make sure the full head joint, a full trail, go up.

So you buttered up one hand,

Just get your fingers.

You buttered up one hand and that's going to butt up against the one that's already in place.

Just make sure, most of the time you use your fingers to do all the feeling, you don't want to be doing too much tapping once the bricks in place, that's it, if you move it after the brick has set it does kind of break loose.
There's no sense in moving it twice. So the best thing to do is get it right the first time and.

Get the right amount in.

Get the right amount in.

Or more than the right amount. So you could always remove it.

Yup. Definitely a little bit more but if you have to put more, you can always take the brick out but it is nice to...

Now this one over here you gotta gotta actually some on the bottom right?

Yeah, that one there would goes in a little bit differently. Because we don't have anything on the top side of the brick, we need to put it on all three sides and in the hole. Squeeze it right in there.

There's no getting around getting your hands dirty when you're working with masonry.

No, not at all. Make sure everything's filled up solid, and work on the next.

OK, now give me that trowel. I want to see if I can... give me one of those bricks.

Because you just dig right into it, and you go right for the end Put it right on the end right?
And then this ones going way back in the corner.

You can go right back in the corner, probably right here.

So I would take a whole trowel load like this and try to get it on right like that, right?

And then with the end that's already got some on it , bring that up against the existing.

Yep, there we go.

And see the trick is getting the right amount in there because you can always squeeze it and get it flat, right?


Good. Well Ed, Lisa lots a lot to you.

Thank you.

And it's great to see a husband and wife working together. Thanks for helping us out here.

We gotta break for some messages. When we get back we're going to be dealing with windows right on this floor.

Don't go away.