Render or replace spalled brickwork?

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Hello!
I am a new homeowner and completely lost in the dark.
I have noticed some spalled brickwork at the bottom of my side wall. No damp on the inside, think they’re just old and weathered.
Any advice? Do they need to be removed? Or could I get away with repointing and the getting render on top?
Thanks!
 

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You can't render over them in case you bridge your damp course.
You may be able to stiff/wire brush them to remove the staining and then, maybe, paint them black or some other colour of your choosing.
 
Ah right thanks Conny.

I’ve started looking at the same houses on my street and nearly all of them are rendered so that’s why I thought that might be an option…
 
Rendered down to ground level? Thats just asking for trouble I think.
In the 1980's it became fashionable to have the front of houses clad in stone. One of the side streets near where I lived must have done a deal with the installers because nearly 3/4 of the houses had it done. A few years later they were nearly all suffering from low level damp issues, (by which time of course the installers couldn't be traced). Some had it all ripped off and others simply had it cut back to above the dpc line.
 
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