Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall

 
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:16 PM   #1
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Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


I have a brick wall covered by sheetrock on my north facing wall (boundary with another building). I wanted to expose the brick to give my living room a rustic feel. I saw my neighborís exposed brick wall (south facing wall) and it looked great.

I ripped down some sheetrock today and found a combination of brick and brick covered by stucco or cement. Looks like Iím in for more work than anticipated. Which is fine b/c I have a few days to kill.

How should I go about removing the stucco? I have a bosch chipping hammer (bulldog extreme) to knock out the big chunks. Will that disturb the structure of the wall if I approach the wall at a low angle (30 degrees).

Will a hand mortar chisel be useful?

I can buy a grinder with a vacuum attachment and surface grinding wheel to expose more of the brick. Is that worthwhile investment? Iíve seen guys use a wire brush attachment but they seem to be covered in a haze of dust. I have no problem spending the money on tools if they will do the job and contain the dust.

Iíve read people wet the stucco first. The moisture helps keep the dust down and softens the substrate.

Iíve got a zip wall containing my workspace to help contain the dust.

Any tips would be very useful here.

PICS: The messy wall is my wall. The last couple pics are of my neighbors wall. I consider the condition of my neighbors brick to be acceptable. The building was built in 1907.

Thanks













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Old 01-24-2018, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


You’d have to demo the wall and relay those bricks. The way is built with lime mortar and chances are the stucco was used to hold it together.

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Old 01-24-2018, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


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Originally Posted by JBM;l
Youíd have to demo the wall and relay those bricks. The way is built with lime mortar and chances are the stucco was used to hold it together.

Demoíing the wall isnít in the cards.

If that stucco is holding the bricks together, how come itís only at the top of the wall and not at the bottom?

How did my neighbor get her bricks so clean? She hasnít been able to find the contractor who did her work.


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Old 01-24-2018, 09:00 AM   #4
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


I would have left the wall and used a veeneer thin brick. I've done two of these types jobs and they look very nice..and easy to lay as well.


American Brick Co (lots of varieties to choose from if you scroll down the link posted):

http://ambrico.com/thin-brick/pick-y...obinson-brick/

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Old 01-24-2018, 02:59 PM   #5
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by RookiePlumber View Post
Demoíing the wall isnít in the cards.

If that stucco is holding the bricks together, how come itís only at the top of the wall and not at the bottom?

How did my neighbor get her bricks so clean? She hasnít been able to find the contractor who did her work.


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Might have sand blasted it?

I can tell you if it were my house I would put the sheetrock back up before I tried to restore that lol
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:33 PM   #6
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


There is no easy way to do it. If I was going to do it (I wouldn't), I would get a brick set, sharpen the tip to a hard chisel point, and chip off as much as I could. 2 weeks later, when I finished that, I would use Speedy Klean to clean it up and repoint as needed.

I would have just used thin brick, personally.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:45 PM   #7
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


I just removed some plaster from a brick wall in a building around the same age as yours. I just beat it with a hammer striking it at an angle towards the spots that were already bare, just knocking off a few inches at a time. I did one side of a two story stairwell, and some other miscellaneous spots by myself in a day. Then I used a wire cup wheel to clean it up. I wore a full faced mask for that part. It created more dust than you can imagine and it would be ideal to use a Hepa dust collector or some other method to keep the dust down. YMMV.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:49 PM   #8
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


People pay good money for that look....keep it!
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:22 PM   #9
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Power washer, with some very good judgement:

The neighbors brick never got acid washed......

Power wash with shop vacumn. Start wide and low pressure grind chisel large chucks of plaster. Be carefull, some water will penetrate the open head joints to neighbors wall face, some diplomacy required here.

Run continuous filtration while grinding or demoing. Wear a good mask.

Me, I think exposed back up brick went out of style when speakeasies shut down.... but there is no accounting for taste

lime cement would dig out with a spoon or butter knife, if that wall is laid out of lime mortar, sell and move.....
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:11 PM   #10
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by JBM View Post
Youíd have to demo the wall and relay those bricks. The way is built with lime mortar and chances are the stucco was used to hold it together.
C'mon J, That wall is probably 3 wythes thick and in no way is the render holding it up nor was it designed that way.

That render is only base coat for the original plaster finish and can be fairly easily removed with pneumatic chisels on low bpm's. Dull up a spade bit and have it.

Lime mortar in all cases is fairly soft and the residuals can be scraped off a dampened surface to a fairly clean result . Since it's most likely a salmon brick, do not excessively wire brush or god forbid take a cup wheel to it. A rub stone can come in handy to get thicker residuals off as long as you don't sanding the surface.

Scrape off and then sponge with drywall sponges (green 3M on one side) and change water often. White vinegar is an excellent mild acid to clean any haze left behind...highly diluted Prosoco 600 detergent would work as well.

Pressure washing inside will be a hassle unless it's on a slab and you control runoff. Over a wooden finished floor above living space and you would need some serious containment methods, not that it can't be done, but something I would avoid.


Hepa vacs, open windows, air scrubbers, exhaust fans will be friendly in this environment.

We used to knock render off old stone buildings all the time at a company I got my start with and did many brick buildings as well...Usually pointing or barn dashing and sealing. Philly is loaded with them and exposed brick is still highly desired.

Be forewarned, it's a lot of work and very time consuming, but the results are pretty cool in the end. And, dusting of the wall will be a continual battle going forward and frequent vacuuming at the base of the wall will be a new chore.

Consolidators and hardeners can be applied to the surface to control dust flake and make the wall washable...something I definitely would consider on this project.

I say, go for it!
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:31 PM   #11
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


I wanted to mention dry ice blasting and captive water blasting reclamation washers can also be used as a alternative to to traditional pressure washing whereas all water is reclaimed at the surface...I've never personally used it but there equipment out there and companies that do this.


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Old 01-26-2018, 06:12 AM   #12
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by superseal;
Since it's most likely a salmon brick, do not excessively wire brush or god forbid take a cup wheel to it.
Superseal, thanks for the advice! Why do you say don't take a grinder cup wheel to it? I've heard differing opinions on this. Some guys say using a a grinder with dust extraction is the way to do it. Interested in your strong warning against grinders. I prefer sort of a roughed up finish.

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:14 AM   #13
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Thanks for all the responses. Iíve gathered some info.



I talked to a couple brick restoration guys and their initial response was no that wall cannot be restored. They assumed I wanted the brick as clean as new brick. I am looking for a somewhat rough or sloppy look. I do NOT want a repointed look. I would be more than happy with my neighbors results. The restoration guys think that result can be achieved. They quoted $5500 and $6000 for 165 sq ft. My eyes blew out of my head. One week of work with two guys going at it.



Using a power wash / high pressure washer is out of the question because I have a finished wood floor underneath. In addition thereís a 1/2Ē - 1Ē (varies) where the finished floor meets the brick wall. The neighbor below (condo board president) would absolutely bankrupt me if I went that route.



Sandblasting - Iíve read this might not be approved in NYC due to the amount of dust it creates. Even if it is allowed, I cannot create that much dust b/c Iím living in the apartment while the work is going on.



Dry ice blasting - Iím going to call some guys and get pricing on that.



Speedy Klean - instructions state washing it off with a hose. Not an option indoors.



Wire wheel - crazy amount of dust.



Iím thinking of giving this a try myself. If I fail, I can put up new drywall.



Bosch hammer set at low speed, brick chisel where needed, followed by brick rub stone or MAYBE angle grinder with dust extraction, followed by white vinegar.



I have the following bits for my bosch hammer. Should i invest in a wider bit like the one pictured below? Iím thinking a wider bit will remove the stucco while not ripping off the brick. Less force per linear inch with a wider bit. The widest bit i have broke off pieces of brick when removing the stucco. I was going at it at full speed though.



https://www.amazon.com/Champion-Chis...us+scraper+bit





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Old 01-26-2018, 07:42 AM   #14
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


If you use the wide bit, try and work your way along in a horizontal line, rather than knocking random bits off. A comb chisel is also usefull.
Render is often knocked off walls like this for damp proofing work, although it is re-rendered later.
You might find you damage a few bricks in the process, depending on high soft they are.
How thick is the wall?
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:51 AM   #15
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by superseal View Post
Usually pointing or barn dashing and sealing
What's Barn Dashing S/S?
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:58 AM   #16
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by RookiePlumber View Post
Why do you say don't take a grinder cup wheel to it?

Thanks!



Aside from the crazy amount of dust created,unless the wire is brass or stainless,it can deposit carbon on the masonry and turn it black.
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:37 AM   #17
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


I know what you mean - ive seen some videos of a guy using a wire wheel on his 1/2Ē drill. Holy dust storm!

As far as dust Iíve got a zip wall setup. And Iím going to buy a top of the line Bosch grinder with dust shroud and atttach it to my ridgid shop vac. The bosch got good marks in terms of dust containment.


You got me on the wire wheel. I thought the wheel was sort of flatish device. Iíve never used one before so I have no idea. Iíll do some research.





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Old 01-26-2018, 09:22 PM   #18
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Price is sound, you want a company to do something even I can’t do, pay up.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:23 PM   #19
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Even I don’t want to do at all should I say
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:42 AM   #20
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Re: Removing Stucco/cement From Interior Brick Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by RookiePlumber View Post
Superseal, thanks for the advice! Why do you say don't take a grinder cup wheel to it? I've heard differing opinions on this. Some guys say using a a grinder with dust extraction is the way to do it. Interested in your strong warning against grinders. I prefer sort of a roughed up finish.

Thanks!
When you say cup wheel, I'm thinking diamond cup. To me it would be too aggressive and leave behind a very unnatural look.

An when I say pneumatic tools, I mean air tools then can be dialed down to a very low bpm which can literately dance the render off the surface with extremely controlled results which preserves the brick. Very low dust as well.

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