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Painted Brick Surfaces

If you plan on painting the brickwork of your house stop and think. It is not a good idea to paint bricks because bricks are porous and will become blocked with the paint. The bricks in your house need to breathe to get rid of excess moisture and with the cells in the bricks blocked this cannot happen. When bricks are painted and the cells become blocked a lot of their ability to mute sound is also damaged. If you decide to refurbish a building that has painted brick surfaces then before you can apply any type of render the paint will have to be cleaned off or the render will not adhere properly to the walls.

Cleaning Painted Brick Surfaces

There are different methods for cleaning painted brick surfaces and removing the paint. If the building is very old and the bricks are damaged then you could do more damage by removing the paint so you may have to cut your losses and leave things as they are. Brickwork that was painted prior to 1970 may contain harmful substances such as lead. If you are sure that the paint was applied after 1970 then the best way to remove this type of paint is by either sandblasting or power washing the brick work. You will need to wear protective goggles when cleaning painted brick surfaces in this way because of the amount of particles that will be flying about. You need to know the right amount of pressure to use otherwise it may be too much and could damage the brick work. As previously stated bricks are porous and tend to soak up water and you will need to leave it to dry out before you can apply any type of render.

Lead Based Paints

Lead based paints can be harmful and the usual way of removing this type of paint from painted brick surfaces is to use a paste or a gel. The substance needs to be applied to the bricks in a thick layer a bit at a time. Once you have a small area of the painted brick surfaces covered in the gel or paste then you need to take a piece of cloth and press it up against the gel, leave it for a while and when you pull the cloth away the paint should come off with it. Because the paint remains stuck to the fabric it means that there is a minimum of lead based particles flying about. While this method of removing paint from bricks is time consuming, it gives the best results and there is less damage to the bricks than there might be with some other methods.

Using Paint Thinner

Yet another way of removing paint from bricks is to use a paint thinner, which is applied to painted brick surfaces with a cloth and the residue scraped off with a wire brush, this method is particularly useful where gloss or oil based paint has been used. Cleaning painted brick surfaces in this way is a messy task and because of continued exposure to the thinner fumes it is advisable to wear a respirator.

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