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Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi

 
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #1
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Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Ooops. "Was" should have been "Wash". Pardon me.

My mason left some blobs and crusts of mortar on brick faces while repointing the chimney.

I'm going to use the Vana Trol acid wash (thanks FJN) to try to remove them and the mortar haze. Before getting the acid involved, should I use stainless brushes and scrapers to scrape and weaken these deposits if pieces of wood fail that challenge? Are stainless implements also OK in combination with the wash application?

Homework on this question finds an unclear spread of opinion. Some people say "no metal tools" but are unclear if that applies to all metals nor do they indicate whether--if it doesn't--there are certain metals that can be used in combination with the wash.

Dom-mas suggested I solicit board members from arid areas ( like Kniggit, Tscar and Stacker) on these problems considering the chimney being in Southern California:

1. There is an approximately 1.5" long X 1/16" area of shrinkage in the wide shoulder band of mortar where it meets the stucco wall and interfaces with the chimney stack.

2. There is a hairline to 1/64" crack that runs across the upper edge of the shoulder bricks where they meet the wide mortar band which slopes into the chimney stack.

Should I seal these with thoroseal (as suggested), leave them or
deal with them in a manner you describe?

Thanks as always and again. That should handle my inquiries on the chimney unless future developments deal a surprise.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


If those "snots" will not come off with a wood scraper that is a real good indication it is NOT a 1:2:8 mix!

Not to worry though,on a higher portland mix I have my guys wet scrape the wall (hose in one hand scraper in other) The scraper I give them is a bucket trowel,reason being,it forces you to get close up to the work vs a long handle scraper. The wet scraping also "floods" the wall as should be done prior to applying cleaner.

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:28 PM   #3
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Yeah this is the type O right , lol. Anyhow just wash it with a scrub brush and dilute the acid accordingly. Flood wet the bricks and flood rinse it when done. Should take about 20 minutes.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


What can I post about the mason doing what he did that won't get me kicked
off the forum? You can guess and it is probably best to leave that vocabulary to imagination.

I'm using some stainless palette knives that have been ground to various shapes and proved useful over the years. Can I use them with the brushes and acid wash?

Your advice on flooding runs in line with reading. Because it has been hotter than
Hades here with brilliant sun, I'll time the wash to keep the work in the shifting shade.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Use mechanical means to remove everything but the shadow and chemicals to remove that.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:43 PM   #6
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


I'll continue with the stainless scraping and start on the acid tomorrow.
We'll see how it goes and I'll report when there's a judgement.
The Prosoco (Vana Trol) people earlier said Type O was best treated within 14-28
days of application...they did mention S was best caught within a week.

*#/1^!**!!#>%

Oh yeah, remember what cartoon characters had in speech balloons when they
went all expletives deleted? See above.
I appreciate your guidance.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:11 PM   #7
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


You need a new mason sir,

Just sayin.
Also how long did it take him to build it and how Long have you been cleaning it,
Pictures are worth a 1000 words. Post em if ye got em.

Last edited by S.U.M; 09-05-2013 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:49 PM   #8
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


NMD-80 latest greatest cleaner we are using now. Believe it is environmentally friendly and is replacing Sure Clean 600. The trick with what ever solution/ chemical is the more water the better. Good luck and most good masons like to clean their own work, as the wrong combinations can ruin a beautiful piece of art. Just my 02
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


All masons should be contractually required to clean up their mess, good or not.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:16 PM   #10
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Quote:
Originally Posted by S.U.M View Post
You need a new mason sir,

Just sayin.
Also how long did it take him to build it and how Long have you been cleaning it,
Pictures are worth a 1000 words. Post em if ye got em.
I'll get back to you with pictures once I get the mechanical attack
and acid wash done. Your opinions are valuable.

**Doing the detailed dry scraping of the snots and stainless brushing today, I also noticed quite a few white splotches in the mortar, which I assume came from inadequate mixing of the lime. Should the acid wash (Vana Trol) boil these out, I'll be needing additional steering from the hive mind.

To say I need a "new mason" is a conclusion we--and the reality of the end product--endorse.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #11
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyc View Post
NMD-80 latest greatest cleaner we are using now. Believe it is environmentally friendly and is replacing Sure Clean 600. The trick with what ever solution/ chemical is the more water the better. Good luck and most good masons like to clean their own work, as the wrong combinations can ruin a beautiful piece of art. Just my 02
I already drove 50 miles to get the Vana Trol cleaner, so I'll use what the greenbacks got me for now with the note that I'll keep your suggestion in mind for the future.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:24 PM   #12
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
All masons should be contractually required to clean up their mess, good or not.
That task has fallen to yours truly.

But you'll love this. The operator retained told me the weather would
dismiss some of the snots and streaks I'm dealing with, no further work or acid wash necessary.

Not wanting to see him again, I was motivated to take
charge of things with an eye to better quality in a result than he had
shown an aptitude for.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:12 AM   #13
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


I would not use a stainless or any other wire brush on masonry.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:50 PM   #14
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


I've used a regular wire brush on all new masonry that I've had to wash (don't usually wash but sometimes it part of the contract), doesn't seem to mark the brick at all. If it's just a haze I'll just use a whitewash brush and let the cleaner do the work
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:00 PM   #15
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Unless it is white or very light brown, steel is fine. Brass or SS and different cleaners for the while/light brown brick.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:21 PM   #16
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
Unless it is white or very light brown, steel is fine. Brass or SS and different cleaners for the while/light brown brick.
I used a brass brush when I was cleaning some old brick last year. Bad mistake. Left a brass residue and I couldn't get it off. Luckily I noticed before i made a big mess
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:20 AM   #17
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


In the spaces between my normal schedule, I finished the mechanical attack late
today.

The 90s have been here recently. Tomorrow promises the low end of that. An experimental 15 minute preparatory water soaking left the bricks drying in a few minutes in the shade and made a moat of the trench I dug around the chimney. A call to Prosoco (Vana Trol) found advice not in the directions: the low
80s are a better top working range but the designed 5-minute dwell of Vana Trol on the chimney might be attained by re-wetting. "Don't let it dry, though" was repeatedly out of the mouth of customer service.

I'll wait until the later afternoon to try anything, even if it just a test patch. More masking and draping has to be done and I'm a tad concerned about the acid mix wrangling with the new roof on mom's place. I'll think of something.

Any concepts that you feel are helpfully remarked on the acid wash are welcome.
As we all know, doing something the tenth time teaches you things you should have done the first time.

Here is a good TIP:
There was some extensive, ancient and durable crayon marking on the bricks.
Acetone will remove them while making each brick seem like part of a life sentence.

The web said WD-40 was keen but keen I wasn't about oiling the chimney before acid. So, a rotation of solvents found success in lacquer thinner. It takes elbow grease but is 7X faster than acetone. Put that in your mental toolbox unless you have a better candidate.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:58 AM   #18
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


It is also possible with certain brickwork to clean by rubbing with a slightly softer brick.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:32 AM   #19
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Jeebus, how big of a mess did this guy make? ....and why is HE not cleaning it?
Pics?
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:11 AM   #20
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Re: Scraping Hardened Mortar Off Brick W/ Metal Tools Before Acid Wash And Legacy Questi


Didnt we see the finished chimney? It looks like a simple scrub with a long handled bristle brush would do it.

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