Project Overview

Making sure your home has good floor ventilation can help prevent problems like rising damp and rotting floor joists. An easy way to keep the subfloor airflow working well is with regular maintenance of your wall vents. You may find these vents are blocked or rusted and need replacing. This video shows you how to remove an old vent from a brick wall and replace it with a new one.
Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure up and prepare your tools
2 Remove the old vent
3 Remove all the old mortar
4 Make sure the new vent fits properly
5 Mortar the vent in place
6 Clean up the bricks around the vent
  • Step 1. Measure up and prepare your tools

    The easiest way to fix a blocked or rusted wall vent is to replace it with a new one. Start by measuring up your old vent (these come in different standard sizes) and find a replacement to match. Then make sure you have all the tools and materials you need on hand, including the proper safety gear.
  • Step 2. Remove the old vent

    Using your hammer drill with a masonry bit, drill through the mortar that holds the old vent in place. You’ll need to drill a few holes all around the vent until it becomes loose. Then pry the vent loose from the wall with the chisel end of your hammer – being careful not to damage any of the bricks.
  • Step 3. Remove all the old mortar

    Once the vent is out of the wall, take your masonry chisel and clear away any excess mortar inside the gap. Once again, be careful not to be too rough with your tools – the mortar should come away pretty easily and you don’t want to damage your brickwork.
  • Step 4. Make sure the new vent fits properly

    Before mixing up the mortar, make sure you have cleared enough of a gap for your new vent to fit properly. By using your hammer drill and masonry bit to cut in to the mortar, you can make small adjustments so that your new vent fits snugly in the gap without having to force it.
  • Step 5. Mortar the vent in place

    Mix the mortar with some water in a bucket, using your trowel. Then spread a reasonably thick layer of mortar along the base of the gap for the new vent to rest on. Now slide the vent into place, and trowel the mortar in the gaps between the vent and bricks. Make sure all the gaps are filled so the vent is firmly held in place.
  • Step 6. Clean up the bricks around the vent

    While this job can get a bit messy, it’s easy to clean up. Use your trowel to scrape off the mortar from the bricks – trying not to scratch the bricks. While the mortar is still wet, take a damp cloth and wipe all the excess mortar off. As a final touch, wet your finger and wipe it along the mortar in the gaps to give it a nice, clean finish.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Brick hammer
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Hammer drill
  • Masonry chisel
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Trowels
  • Vent

Materials

  • Mortar
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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