Fjerne facadepuds murermestervilla / removal of facade plaster from brick house

Hi all,

First post. I hope it's ok to write in English. If not, please let me know and I will try and have someone translate for me.

We recently bought a murermestervilla from the early 1900s. Three of the four sides of the house are in the original, untreated brick facade (beautiful brick as well). Of course, one side of the house had to be ruined by a careless previous owner at some point and is covered in puds and paint. The current owners do not know anything about it but clearly there used to be an entrance on this side of the house that was covered. I assume that's why only this one side is covered in plaster.

This drives me crazy since it's only one side of the house. I want to avoid plastering the other sides of the house as it would ruin the character of the house. I'd prefer to restore the brick but after speaking to one professional (he hasn't seen the property yet, I just showed him a photo) and doing some research, it's not as simple as I assumed. I figured one could simply sandblast the plaster off and done but now I'm learning the chance is high of ruining the brick allowing excess moisture/frostbite into the brick and it can crumble over time.

So, the question goes: are there any less aggressive methods to restore the brick? Is sanding/grinding an option or does that still ruin the burn skin on the brick? Even if it's a simple chisel and hammer and many hours of my time, I'm happy to do so as long as I am able to bring back the original brick facade. There must be some methods out there for this.

Extra details if it makes a difference: the wall construction is a cavity wall with circa 30cm of insulation beads between the cavity. Once we receive the keys, I plan to get some professionals over for opinions however I'm hoping to gather as much info first so that I can propose solutions (if any).

Looking forward to ideas. Thank you.
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Annonce
Annonce
Annonce
TRRA
TRRA
1084 2770
Assuming we are talking red brick pre WW2, you should not be able to blast damage the actual masonary, but you will probably not be able to get the plaster off either, and you will most likely take the mortar out also.

I know only of hammer, chisel, pressure and time - to get plaster off. It really depends on the quality of the plaster work - how well it adheres to the brick. A concrete based mortar, might be quite easy to remove, whereas a limebased mortar can really stick. Knocking on the plaster, will help you get a feel for if the mortar is fixed to the wall. The best approach is to follow the mortar joint with the chisel - that way you may free or loosen the plaster from the brick without actually hitting the brick. It is very unlikely, that you end up with very pretty mortar joints - you will probably need to redo them  

Once you get the plaster off, you can use a hydrochloric acid solution to clean the brick - but be careful about overdoing it.


Mvh Troels
AskH.
AskH.
1382 2860
I would assume its near impossible to do this without damaging the bricks too much.

As far as I know concrete generally sticks too well to the bricks. at least no one is trying to recycle bricks from houses with concrete based mortar, while it should be possible to get limestone based mortar off bricks and reuse them (but with some damage and significant work). At least there is firms recycling bricks from houses with limestone based mortar (not when used as general plaster but used as the glue) 

As concrete mortar has been the norm for a significant number of years I would expect that to have been used and thus I would not give your project high chances as you have also been told by others

At least you should expect that the result bears significant traces of the plaster and thus will still look (very) different from the other side's if the house.

I would potentially explore other possibilities for getting the different exterior walls to a similar look 

Ask
stahlrahmen
stahlrahmen Trådstarter
5
Thanks for both the responses. The house was built in 1903 and, to my knowledge, the bricks are original. Unfortunately I do not know if cement or limestone was used for the plaster however I realized today I have a contact that knows the owner that did the work. I can likely find out which plaster was used and exactly when it was established.

I'm open to different solution. I do feel it would be a shame to plaster all walls though as it would lose a lot of its character (for me that is, personal opinion as I know many don't like the look of raw brick). If it ends up being truly impossible, what would your suggestion be for a more aesthetically pleasing plaster work? Is it possible to create a rustic/worn look with lime? At the moment it's painted an unsavory red color that I really do not like. Attached is a photo reference with the south side of the house in red.

Annonce
Annonce
TRRA
TRRA
1084 2770
The other Guy is right. It does appear to be a very thin render, which is hard to get off. Sometimes it is Thick, poorly made and will become loose - particularly if concrete based  . No such luck here though . Well, you can always knock out the outer wall and reverse the bricks. 😓

Mvh Troels
stahlrahmen
stahlrahmen Trådstarter
5
Well, you can always knock out the outer wall and reverse the bricks. 😓

Brilliant! 😅 I have not thought of that as an option. Sounds intensive but I guess if it drives me crazy enough I can consider it one day. And you’re right, then render is quite thin from what I can tell. We haven’t moved in yet so once I get in there I can better inspect it but it’s sounding more and more impossible (without spending a stupid amount on money).

jenshøj
jenshøj
2978 4800
Some houses were built with red bricks (expensive) towards the street and yellow bricks away from the street. Simply because it was cheeper to to it that way. That could be the reason it has been covered in mortar and painted.
There could also damages to the bricks below, that someone wanted to hide.
So just be aware, that even if you are able to remove it, there may be something unexpected hidden below.

Reversing the bricks, joke or not, are most likely not an option, because the old bricks only had one pretty side that was put outwards.
Annonce
stahlrahmen
stahlrahmen Trådstarter
5
@jenshøj Thanks for that. I talked to my contact earlier today. He said it was originally done due to moisture getting through the mortar. Sounds like it was more expensive/time consuming to properly re-point the mortar than simply plastering over the whole wall. That said, I don't really know and there could definitely be some surprises hiding under. Anyhow, here is a photo from the reverse side of the house. It should be red brick all around.


TRRA
TRRA
1084 2770
The bricks underneath are definitely red brick - not yellow - The use of less-valued yellow brick on the backside, was a thing in the building boom era between 1880's and WW1 - but only applied to large apartment units - and public institutions.

Mvh Troels
stahlrahmen
stahlrahmen Trådstarter
5
Small update: just spoke with my friend and while he’s not 100% sure, he recalls the work being done ca. 15 years ago and most likely cement plaster.

That said, are there benefits to “starting fresh”? Removing the plaster and then applying the thinnest possible layer of lime instead. My thinking is if I can achieve a lime wash look like something close to the attached photo then that could be acceptable. That would also leave the door open for the possibility of lightly doing the same later on the remaining sides of the house to match the look and still give me a little of the brick I want (or just keep it on the one side).
AskH.
AskH.
1382 2860
I think you need to risk some experiments. Start with removing the plaster in a smaller area like 0,5-1m2 and consider the result. An area that size is manageable to redo if you want to stick with the plaster(of course you will need to repaint, but it sounds like that is on the table anyway)

When you see the result of removing the plaster it is easier to determine viable options.

But also keep in mind that you risk ending with a less durable result. If the original wall was absorbing water then a damaged result after the plaster us removed will likely absorb even more and a thin wash with lime does not provide much protection from that.


Ask
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