Lead Paint and Exterior Brick

Old 12-26-01, 09:31 AM
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Smile Lead Paint and Exterior Brick

Hello and Happy Holidays! I have been trying to get estimates from contractors to repair some of the front of my brick historic rowhouse, clean the paint (I suspect it is lead paint) off of three sides of the back brick walls of the house, repoint the brick then on all three sides, repair or replace some bricks in the foundation in the basement of the house, and on the second floor, open the brick so that I can install french doors to a balcony. I also want to add stairs to this balcony up to a rooftop deck.

The house is probably 200 years old. It is this reason I suspect the paint is lead on the back. I have gotten a wide range of estimates and can't decide what it should cost. Is there a program out there or some expert that could provide me with a "benchmark" from which to judge these estimates from? If there is, could the estimate be broken down as to "time and materials" so that I can better judge the estimates I am getting?

Also, if anyone could tell me the processes that need to be done in order to get these jobs completed. I have been researching this and it seems there are several ways to accomplish what I need. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP????!!!!
Old 12-26-01, 02:00 PM
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You might check with your local Building Inspection Department for all local codes regarding this type of work.
Check the references of the contractors bidding the job. Make sure that you're comparing apples to apples (like-kind materials, etc.).
Most states have a non-profit historical property preservation office and organization of some sort, usually based in the State capital.
You may even have one, or a branch office, locally.
Is this home in an historic district? Have you checked with neighboring homeowners?
Good Luck!
Old 12-30-01, 05:52 AM
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removing old lead based paint

Sounds like you have a nice project. For your own benefit i would suggest you get a bucket of PEEL AWAY I anddo some small test areas on the brick which has old paint. PEEL AWAY I will safely remove it in one application. This will give you an idea as to how your job could be done safely and easily. Visit the web site at www.peelaway.com for more info
Old 12-31-01, 04:15 PM
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Restoration of historic brick

I'm with Mike on checking with the local Historical Preservation Society. Who knows, there may even be funding for your project? Typically, the Dept. of Interior requires that you identify the historically significant features on the exterior of the house and protect them. Repair damage to these features. Replace what can not be repaired. Replace significantly historic features that are missing. Finally, add no new features that are not historical inside or out. Many of the old mortars were very soft and do not withstand the modern cleaning methods. While brick is one of the most durable exteriors, many of the older handmade bricks can not withstand modern cleaning methods. Actually, removing paint from historically painted structures is not recommended. Also, not changing the color or type of the paint. Historic painted surfaces usually require removing the first layer of paint down to the next layer below by the most gentle method possible (hand scraping). Repaint with colors that are appropriate for the building and district. Sandblasting and high pressure washing are not recommended. You can find lots of helpful info at www.oldhouse.com about old and historic houses.

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