Help with plastering over stucco/stone foundation


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Old 12-30-06, 08:05 AM
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Unhappy Help with plastering over stucco/stone foundation

My wife and I bought an old brick mill house-in a worker village- from the turn of the century. The foundation is stone and stucco but has been "plastered" over in a "slap-happy" fashion (probably to curb water entering and bolster the foundation). This plaster-over job just drives me nuts...It's begging to be re-coated with a second layer that is flush and consistant. Right now, it looks like someone did it-albeit thoroughly-using a dinner knife! I have two questions:
First off, as a newbie to concrete work, is this something an average guy can tackle? I would, after all, like to do this work myself, but RIGHT. I don't want my work to flake off, etc...(it looks easy enough, but...)

Secondly, assuming this was done with a generic concrete mix, is it worth worrying about the compatability of the concrete with the original lime based mortar and rubble? Other websites dealing with preservation of old homes emphasize the importance of avoiding Portland concrete for brick pointing older lime mixes (another project down the road).
Basically, I want this house to look good and be structurally and aesthetically sound, but I'm not seeking to do a historical preservation job here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely, Hank
 
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Old 12-30-06, 02:33 PM
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Lime stucco is cheaper than portland stucco, and not harder to work with. That said, if you are re-coating a portland-repaired foundation it is moot. Make sure the surface is clean, paintfree and there are no loose particles, then apply the fresh stucco right over it, preferably with a bonding agent added.
 
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Old 12-31-06, 12:45 PM
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in my opinion i would try to chip all the old parging off and start off with a new surface, Who knows if it comes off very easy (parging usually does) you might be able to re-point the stone and make it look like it did 100 years ago. its very hard to get any masonry material to stick properly to stone and not crack, im not to sure what kind of stone it is but if its limestone, granite those are not pourous surfaces and they are also un even and you will have a hard time getting it to look straight, and some spots will be thicker then others, causing cracking, , if its sandstone its a little more pourous and you might get a better bond. But if it was my house I would try to make it look original and repoint the stone, once you chip the old parging off try rubbing the stone down with pure vinegar to clean it and let it sit for 1hour and hose it off you can use a steel brush to get the hard spots and clean it really good, GOOD LUCK post back and let us know what method you went with
 
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Old 12-31-06, 03:16 PM
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Red face Re: Bricklayer

Bricklayer:

Man, it seems like a lot of work to chip away and remove that existing coat of parging (as you call it); than again, I wouldn't be surprised if you're correct in suggesting that it might crack away pretty easily. I have a fear of the old existing rubble and stucco underneath: this definately would need work (something tells me there are hidden issues-after all, the house was built in 1880). Hopefully, the foundation under there is in "okay" shape. I too would prefer the original look of the base. I just find the concrete skim coating, or whatever it is, pretty hideous. It will be in Spring when I tackle the project, so I won't be reporting anything anytime soon in all likelihood.
Thanks for the input!

Since I'm assuming you're a bricklayer (just a guess), let me present one other issue thats been nagging me lately. There is a section of bricks, roughly 3 ft. by 5 ft., that was layed 8 or so years ago to replace a full sized window. I'm presuming the owner didn't want the window obstructing a bathroom, so he replaced it with a small single paned storm window roughly 7 ft. off the ground, and filled the lower void with a bad job of brickwork. The bricks are sagging quite a bit in the center of the section, creating a real eye-sore (far more of a concern to me than the improper matching of the bricks and the real sloppy morter work). Blogs on masonry have warned against trying to re-brick large area's that are weight bearing. Now, I'm faced with probably looking into having a mason do a pretty involved job beyond my ability to tackle (ughhh).
Two questions: Does this pose structural concerns or is it merely just an aesthetic issue for now? Secondly, how much will it cost to have this done right (rough idea)? I'll post pictures of this problem too. You'll probably go banana's when you see it!

Much thanks,

Hank
 
 

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