My 60+ years old brick and siding home has badly spalling brick. I want a solution other than cutting out individual brick, and tuck pointing because there is too much surface to repair. From reading the forums, I realize the problem is old porous brick and I live in Ohio.
I want a solution that will completely cover the brick without loosing all of the character. I know from reading that I cannot use stucco. Can I use brick over brick or stone over brick? I cannot afford to hire a pro. I need a do it yourself solution that I can learn. Any suggestions? I would not mind adding stone over the brick if that is possible although I can imagine the issues, especially because the home is partially aluminum siding. I would appreciate some advise.
There is nothing you can do to repair the bricks that won't look like a mess when it's done. You could do the entire house with thin brick over the existing brick, but chances are that frost will get behind them and pop some off also, in time, because the house was not detailed for thin brick initially.
Probably the best course of action is the one you don't want to do, and then it becomes a question of how well you can match the bricks and the mortar. Neither of those will necessarily be easy.
Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
This is a problem many homeowners face, and I'm in agreement with Mr. Hetzel in that there is no easy fix. I do have a few questions:
Is the spalling concentrated at the surface? How deep are the faces of the brick pitting?
Tell me what you see when you are looking at the joints between the brick, vertical and horizontal.
Is the veneer structurally sound, IE straight from corner to corner, plumb, no rolls, cracks, or loose brick.
I would not recommend installing a concrete product (stucco), over a clay product (brick),the two materials move counter to each other, one expands,clay, while the other shrinks, concrete. Special consideration ( a competent Architect/Engineer with masonry knowledge) is required.
Temple Masonry Inc.
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I hope that I can give an accurate description of what I am seeing. I see that the morter appears to have been unevenly applied in that much of the brick face sits out further than the morter. I don't know if this is how it was done 60 years ago, but when I compare it to the appearance of newly laid brick, the morter looks as though it was just slapped on rather than evenly applied and smoothed on. Because I have no educated background in the subject, in my uninformed opinion, the morter appears to have worn down or shrunken. The face of the brick appears to be breaking off down to the level of the morter. The pitted areas appear to stop at the depth of the morter also. I am not sure I understand the nature of some of your question, but I will say that some of the bricks appear to loosening from the morter, IE there are cracks in the morter around some of the bricks. I see more spalling near the ground than elsewhere.
I suppose I need to seek a professional to find out the cause and remedy but I am not financially able to hire a pro at this time. I am hoping to learn enough by researching, to try to fix it myself before it become a more significant problem.
The mortar joints you describe were probably originally deeply-raked joints, where the mortar is indeed kept back about a quarter of an inch behind the face of the brick. However, those joints ought to have been neatly tooled, so that gives the impression that someone dod a non-professional tuck-pointing job on them.
One of the drawbacks of such joints is exactly what your house exhibits...water can lie on the top exposed surface of each brick. If the bricks are not highly impervious, that water can indeed soak in and cause spalling of the brick surface.
If you repair the bricks which have spalled, and I'm not sure there is any acceptable way to do that, it's probably only a matter of time before the remaining original brick begin to spall. I really don't think there is any type of repair that an amateur can do that will end up looking decent. I think the best solution is to remove the brick veneer and rebuild it, doing one wall at a time as budget permits. Start in back and make your mistakes there, and by the time you get to the front, you'll have a chance at having the result look professional.
If you want to reproduce the look of the original raked mortar joints, be sure to select a brick which is highly impervious, and thn you might think about applying a sealer to be doubly certain that the spalling won't recur. There are some very old (80 to 90 years) houses which have raked joints and whose brick has not spalled, so long life is possible if the correct brick and mortar are used.
Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
|Powered by Social Strata|