Mortar wash over brick application and/or removal

Old 01-22-14, 12:58 PM
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Mortar wash over brick application and/or removal

My contractor talked me into letting him put mortar wash over the brick of my house which I was wanting to paint. I don't think the sub really knew how to do it and now it is cracking and falling off in places and is apparently not very popular or known in the my city area (Northern Alabama). It was applied very heavily (you cannot see the brick outline but in very few areas). I want to remove it but have been reading that sand blasting brick could be very damaging. I have tried repairing the areas myself (I found the formula and what mortar to use on the internet but those repaired and some new areas are now cracking (it has been worse this winter), some big sheets have even come off. Does anyone know anyone in Northern Alabama that could repair/remove this for me or know how I can repair or remove the mortar wash without damaging the brick? I don't think pressure washing is going to do the trick (it would probably work on some areas but not all)...Thank you for any help or light you can shed on this dilemma!
Old 01-22-14, 01:35 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I've never heard of a 'mortar wash' but it kind of sounds like stucco.

pics might be helpful -
Old 01-23-14, 01:06 AM
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Based on your description, but without pix to see what you're seeing, I think you could consider lightly abrading the mortar with a (compressed-air operated) hand-held bush hammer. It will remove any loose or potentially loose mortar, while leaving the brick largely intact. Provided you don't "linger" with it in any one area very long.

Get a decent one if you can afford it. My Bosch bush hammer bit cost around $40 (20+ years ago), so they're probably up to $60 or $70 by now. But it has easily outlasted a few cheapo Harbor Freight specials that were ten bucks each, with teeth that wore down to nothing after just a few extended uses.
Old 01-23-14, 06:26 AM
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hope contractor wasn't yet pd think he was otherwise why ask ' how to ' in a diy site ?

bridge's got the right idea might try wire brush on a 4" grinder ( eyeglass's/gloves/dust mask - funny, 1 would think this doesn't even need posting but,,,,,,,,,,,, )

bricks aren't uniform in strength so sandblast's a no-no,,, decent size pressure washer + the right size turbo nozzle might work,,, another source - bushing tools: ebay, gran-quartz, granite city tool ( vt ), john miles supply ( ga ) - no $ interest

few paint brick as its a LARGE pita to maintain - best !
Old 01-23-14, 05:30 PM
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How thick is the material? How was it applied? Spread with a brush? A trowel?
Was any prep work done before the application? Sounds like dirty brick or maybe soft brick and it is spalling and the wash. whatever it is has lost its bond.

Follow the advice above to remove what is loose. Tell us more about the stuff. Pictures? And clean before repairing. Be careful pressure washing the brick. You could blast the mortar out.

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