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exposing old brick walls - removing plaster - old mortar

Posted by lotsahouses (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 12, 08 at 17:54

We are REMOVING SOME OF THE PLASTER from the INNER BRICK WALLS of a 'loft' in an old commercial building we own, built in around 1902. I realize when our building was built, the brick wasn't meant to be exposed, but it just looks so cool, as we all know. We want to take it off in places, then 'feather' the existing plaster over to the brick areas and smooth the places where it meets. We are using a MORTAR HARDENER on the brick, as the mortar itself in many places has turned to sand.

ANYBODY WITH ANY TIPS ON HOW TO DO THIS? Harden old mortar/chip off old plaster/feather the edges?

Thanks - any ideas or tips on tools and techniques from your experience is SO appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: exposing old brick walls - removing plaster - old mortar

I definitely do not agree that it "just looks so cool, as we all know". To me, exposed brick screams of being 1970's-80's.

Things to think about....These brick walls weren't built with the intention of being exposed so chances are the mortaring will be sloppy. Plus, by removing the plaster, you will be removing insulation value...thus, higher heating bills. Will the plaster removal result in having to move electric and will it screw up how window and door trim lines up? The brick walls will be dusty so you'll have to seal the brick somehow; however sealing bricks doesn't allow moisture to leave the bricks so you could be inviting more problems if you seal. As you have commented, the original mortar will be crumbly due to it most likely being lime mortar instead of the cement mortar used today. If the mortar is crumbling, it has failed. Repointing is the only PROPER solution.

My tip - don't do it.

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