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Old 01-15-2007, 06:02 PM  
mnp13
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Default Evaluating 130 year old brick

I am currently in the "inspection" phase of buying a 130 year old brick home. I don't know a whole lot about brick so I'm not 100% sure what to look for. I'm haveing a few masonry people come and give me estimates on the work that needs to be done, but I have learned from hard experience that many contractors are less-than-honest when dealing with a woman home owner.

I have a ton of experience with different aspects of home ownership, but brick is new to me!

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated!



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Old 01-16-2007, 11:30 AM  
glennjanie
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Welcome MNP:
Just remember the brick at that time was laid with mortar made of sand and lime; its very soft and erodes away if there is water running on the wall.
Most masonry contractors are going to want to sand-blast the brick (which will blow out about the first 1/2" of the mortar and make the brick look brand new) and tuck point it with modern mortar mix. I can't begin to estimate the cost but it will be rather expensive; a crew will have to work maybe a month to complete it. It can't be done in cold weather because the mortar will freeze and will be no better than what you have. Personally I would NEVER paint brick. It is a lifetime finish needing very little maintnance, whereas the paint would have to be repeated constantly.
Glenn



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Old 01-16-2007, 12:06 PM  
mnp13
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wouldn't sand blasting the brick remove the outer layer and make it more pourous, creating other problems?

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Old 01-16-2007, 01:33 PM  
CraigFL
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Originally Posted by mnp13 View Post
wouldn't sand blasting the brick remove the outer layer and make it more pourous, creating other problems?

I've been told also that sandblasing old brick can be harmful. When I had 65 year old Chicago Pink, it was very soft so I just scraped the old morter out and repointed it.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:54 AM  
glennjanie
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Hello MNP:
Check around the house and see if there are any bricks that have decomposed in the wall. If not, the sandblasting will not hurt them. Brick that are properly fired in a kiln are just as hard inside as they are on the outside.
It may be less expensive to have the joints raked and re-pointed, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Glenn



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