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Chimneys & Fireplaces Question
Exposing brick fireplace and repointing - what is the best methods?
I am half way into removing plaster from my brick fireplace (1880's) by using a chisel and hammer. It is not coming off as cleanly as I had hoped and is leaving patches of concrete or plaster stuck on the brickwork. If I try more vigorously some of the brick is chipping off with the plaster. No good. Therefore, I am being left with brickwork with patches of plaster left on it.
- What is the best way for me to tidy this all up, removing the plaster/concrete leaving behind some clean brick work??
Secondly, I am noticing the pointing (which is very pale, almost white - lime?) is very uneven, crumbly, with gaps and also untidy. Is it possibly to re-point this? If, so how??
Hi I would remove the remaining mortar with a wire brush as this would not affect the brick work, it would only restore the colour. If that is too much, maybe a brick acid cleaner with a stiff broom may do the job. And yes it is easy to re point and would recommend to do so as it would make the chimney breast look new and maybe seal as well as this would high light the colour of the brick. But would not recommend you do so if have no previous experience. Thanks Jason
Answered 17th Oct 2013
What you need is the right tools, skills and knowledge I'm afraid.
The plaster should come off with good stiff wire brush, try to soften by wetting first, if its cement or similar, you are stuffed.
Unless the bed and joint mortar is very soft you will struggle to remove enough to repoint merely using a wire brush, you will need to get yourself a seaming chisel, try not to go too deep all at once and chip the brick work, keep to the centre of the joints and be patient.
If when you've finished it looks like a total mess, call in a good stonemason or builder with knowledge of Lithomex and lime mortar to do you a nice repair.
Answered 10th Feb 2016