Spalled Bricks?

Discussion in 'Building' started by Christian and Beccy, 12 Oct 2016.

  1. Christian and Beccy

    Christian and Beccy

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    So, we're soon to have our Bungalow rendered, but I don't know how to approach the below-DPC section, that won't be rendered.

    Initially, we had thought of painting them, but is the condition too bad for this to be successful? What you're seeing in the pics is after I've cleaned them the best I could and with a few days to dry out a little.

    What is the viability of replacing the bricks altogether? Or is that overkill?


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  3. vinn

    vinn

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    Dont ever paint brickwork.

    Have you had Independent professional advice to have render applied?
    What do you hope to gain from render - which render?

    No way would I advise replacing any brickwork.
    You have a beautiful soft brick.

    You seem to have brushed off the majority of the salts (good) but then washed or jetted the surface (bad) - wet brings out more efflorescence.
    The sand and lime pointing looks OK.
    Anyway, it all looks respectable to me.

    Are your floor joists above or below the DPC?
    More 10 x 6 plastic air bricks are needed.
     
  4. noseall

    noseall

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    Agree - its a crime to paint or render brickwork of this nature.
     
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  5. chappers

    chappers

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    ditto
     
  6. stuart45

    stuart45

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    What's the reason for the render? Have you got any damp problems?
     
  7. Christian and Beccy

    Christian and Beccy

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    Thanks for help. Regarding the upper portion, above DPC, it's really past help. When we bought the Bungalow, it had already had various alterations and repairs using all manner of different bricks (mainly Flittons), you can actually see some of them in the 2nd photo. So, on the basis that it was past help, we had the extension built using high u-value Blocks.

    So, we had always planned to go down the Sand/Cement Render route, until the emergence of K-Rend which is the current idea.

    I know it's not ideal and I wish I could retain the brickwork, but if I was to post a photo of it all, you'd see why this isn't viable.

    I am open to leaving the bottom portion unpainted and unrendered, that would be my preference and if we were to get involved in replacing bricks, we'd try hard to either match or be sympathetic towards the style. We have used Kassandra's elsewhere, so would explore those as an option, but that's jumping the gun.

    Looking closely at the below-DPC bricks, some have material missing from the faces, some are broken completely in half. If I was to get a builder to repoint, would that be a satisfactory option do you think? Perhaps we could pick up some Reds from a reclaim and try to replace the broken and badly damaged ones?
     
  8. Christian and Beccy

    Christian and Beccy

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    On the subject of Air Bricks, the ones you can see in that pic are on the side of the Bungalow, they are below the floor joists.

    There are a couple on the front of the Bungalow, I'm pretty confident they are for the Cavity, because the insulation company blocked those off (very crudely)

    I had hoped to replace the nasty, cheap looking Air Bricks with some that look a bit tidier.
     
  9. vinn

    vinn

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    Your pointing looks OK just needs a little picking up here and there - lime pointing looks a bit rough but will still be good.
    Patching back in with soft brick - soft bricks are easily obtainable - would be the way to go aesthetically.
    You have cavity walls - is there some issue there?
     
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  11. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    When we bought, the mortgage surveyor made a big thing about bricks spalling at the front and I called him and he couldn't really say why it was a problem or what I should do about it.
    In the end I scraped off some of the paint and found cement pointing over lime mortar. In most places it was very loose behind, and a few bricks literally fell out. Replacing them was very easy. When I came to fit air bricks I just scraped the mortar with a screwdriver and pulled out the bricks.
    Anyway my point is the damage was caused by water getting behind the paint and cement and freezing/dissolving the lime. Once I repointed with fresh mortar and painted again, it's better. If you repoint with weaker mortar and make sure the brickworks can dry out, you might stop the damage to the lower bricks.
     
  12. endecotp

    endecotp

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    The picture you've posted just shows some nice old characterful brickwork.

    Are you trying to make an old house look like it was all built yesterday?
     
  13. vinn

    vinn

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    The significant damage to the lower bricks is caused by water rising not penetrating through the facings - hence, as the photo clearly shows, the damp stops at the DPC.

    Why would you paint again when you state that "damage was caused by water getting behind the paint"?
     
  14. Christian and Beccy

    Christian and Beccy

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    vinn - I think you've confused 2 posts. My bricks haven't ever been painted, though John D v2.0 did speak of paint.

    OK, you've asked for it...

    The patchwork quilt effect under the bays was done before we arrived, and the nice stepped detail below the slit windows had been chopped up and knocked off too. On the second pic, aside from the obvious, you can just see the side windows that were bricked up with Flittons and the blockwork immediately to the right of the Patio door, which was there, again, before we arrived.

    We commissioned the extension to be built from blockwork because, as I said earlier, there seemed no other way than covering it all up. Oh, and yes, we did add the large piece of steel.

    On reflection, if I could turn back the clock, I would probably knock it all down and build 2 on the plot, then sell them to fund a new build. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh? Except the location is a nice place to live, ideal for us.

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  15. chappers

    chappers

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    well yeah looks like your committed now. As vinn says I would just tidy up the pointing where it needs it below DPC but to be honest most of it looks OK
     
  16. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Hmmmm, well I hope the disaster below the front windows was reflected in the price!
     
  17. Christian and Beccy

    Christian and Beccy

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    Yes, the place was very keenly priced and is now worth well over double what we paid for it. Well, will be once we smarten up the outside.

    We've made a stunning job of completing the inside, if I say so myself, the outside needs some serious consideration though!

    Thanks for your help everyone.
     
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