Removing Stucco from Brick
LESLIE: Alright, well Ann in Utah is considering something interesting; changing the exterior of a home before she’s even purchased it. Alright Ann, what’s going on?
ANN: Well, my husband and I looked at a home. It’s 100 years old.
ANN: And it’s originally a brick home with some, you know, wood and the eaves and all of that. And somebody has just gone and sprayed it with like stucco everywhere.
ANN: Under the eaves, everything. And we were wondering if there was a safe way to get the stucco off.
TOM: Gosh, I can’t think of one because you know if you use anything that’s abrasive you’ll damage the bricks and you’ll damage the mortar that’s underneath that; especially on an older home because the bricks tend to be fairly soft, as does the mortar.
TOM: That’s really unfortunate that they’ve essentially painted the whole thing with a stucco-like material.
LESLIE: And there’s no way to sandblast it or have a pro sandblast it to try to …
TOM: The problem with sandblasting is it’s – that’s the worst thing you can do to an historic building. (Leslie groans) Because it will definitely cut into the brick surface and it’s not going to be pretty. So it’s very difficult to remove that. You know you may just have to put more of it on there if you don’t like the color or something or maybe it’s just not the right house for you.
ANN: No, I don’t think it is.
LESLIE: I mean you know what you can do, Ann, is you can find somebody locally who’s into brick restoration who does this as a service and just bring them over there as a consultant and ask them their opinion. Because you know, they’ll see it firsthand and understand it and since it’s not your home yet, you know, they’re not really looking to make a buck because you don’t own it yet.
TOM: It depends on what this stucco material is. I mean I guess it’s possible that there could be like a paint-stripping type of a chemical that might be able to loosen it up. So it might be worth a little bit of investigation but my initial gut reaction is it’s going to be a tough job.
ANN: Yeah, that’s what I thought and it probably would be expensive, wouldn’t it?
TOM: Yeah, a lot of labor which means a lot of money.
ANN: OK. Alright, well thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Ann. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.