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Can You Remove Paint From Exterior Brick

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  • 22-11-2021
Can You Remove Paint From Exterior Brick

Can you remove paint from exterior brick? We look at the methods of removing paint from brick and how much you could expect it to cost.

How much does it cost to remove paint from a brick house?

Every job is different when it comes to paint removal. The size of the property, the type of paint, and the work's complexity all contribute to how much it will cost to complete the job. 

However, your typical blasting and paint removal company will charge a flat fee per square metre of paint that needs removing.

Depending on the contractor you hire, these prices will vary, but they will typically start, per square metre of paint, at £50. 

You could also include a brick cleaning and washing service as part of the quote for your package. 

Usually, for an entire building, this brick wall cleaning service can cost up to £500. However, you should bear in mind that these prices are not fixed, and depending on the work you want completed, they are likely to vary.

Naturally, brick paint removal services will be more expensive in urban areas or places where house prices are particularly high, such as London. 

Alongside the property's location, other factors will influence the cost of the service. These include the brickwork's current condition, the number of hours the job is expected to take and how many contractors would be needed to carry out the paint removal.

If the work you need doing is particularly extensive and will require scaffolding to reach all the areas of paint you want removing, you can expect to pay at least £300 as a minimum cost. 

This is the average price to construct the scaffolding you need per week. Overall, you will need to budget roughly £1,000 for paint removal on all the exterior brickwork of a house.

Can You Remove Paint From Exterior Brick?

Methods Of Removing Paint From Brick

Painting the exterior of a property is the quickest and cheapest way to give it a fresh new appearance. 

However, while there are many practical and aesthetic benefits to painting an exterior, such as a wide range of colour choices and cheap application, you should never apply paint directly onto the bare brick.

Painting directly onto the exterior brick of a property will eventually lead to erosion, compromising the structural integrity of the exterior brick walls. 

This erosion is caused by the fact that exterior paints need to be weather resistant, essentially forming an airtight seal around the property. While this added durability might sound like a good idea, the truth is a little different.

Adding a robust, weatherproof layer to the exterior brick of your home or property sounds like an added benefit that paint can provide. However, you should be aware that bricks are a breathing material. 

This means that they adapt to the conditions they experience. For example, they can absorb water during rainy spells and quickly expel it during dry patches.

METHODS OF REMOVING PAINT FROM BRICK

Therefore, if you create a non-breathable, weatherproof layer to your exterior brick, this limits its adaptable nature and prevents it from breathing. 

In the worst-case scenario, you may apply this weatherproof paint onto brickwork that already holds a lot of moisture. Preventing this moisture from escaping is the main reason that erosion occurs.

There are many methods to remove paint from a property's exterior brick, and not all of these methods are appropriate for a true brick restoration project. 

However, the basic process entails removing each layer of paint one at a time, carefully peeling strips off until only the bare exposed brickwork of the property is left on the exterior.

The next method of removing paint from exterior brick is by using chemicals. This process is slightly more gentle on your brickwork but the materials used are far more hazardous for the environment. 

Your contractor will apply layers of paint stripper chemicals to your exterior bricks to dissolve and drop the weatherproof paint a layer at a time.

As you might imagine, this is a very time-consuming process. It is also more expensive than sandblasting, given the specialist chemicals that are required. 

These chemicals also pose a threat to the environment and must be applied very carefully, so they are not appropriate for DIY projects. Once a layer of paint has had the chemical applied, the contractor will remove the residue of that layer with a pressure washer or scrub it with a wire brush before moving on to the next layer.

Naturally, once all of the layers of paint have been removed, much like the sandblasting process, the use of pressure washers and wire brushes means that some damage will be done to the bare brick beneath. However, this damage is not as dramatic as that done by the sandblasting process.

The third method for removing paint from exterior brick is one of the least intrusive and one of the only ones that can truly be called brick restoration. 

Steam can remove paint from brick on the exterior of your home without damaging the underlying material in any way. This way, you can remove any weatherproof paint and reveal the brick underneath as it was before being painted.

Steam manages to remove paint without damage due to the high temperatures it creates. This heat removes the weatherproof paint easily, but it is still a lengthy process that takes time. 

Steam is also far safer for the environment than harsh chemicals. For most paint removal needs, steam is often recommended as the best option, given it is one of the most gentle of all the solutions.

The final method of paint removal is known as sodablasting. This is the method best used when water-based paints have been applied. 

These paints are often heat resistant, meaning you cannot use steam to remove them. It is also gentle to the brickwork underneath, much like the steam method.

Alongside paint stripping, sodablasting can be used to remove oils, varnishes and generally clean the exterior brick of your house. 

Using sodium bicarbonate as a blasting material, it is such a safe and gentle method that it is the same method dentists use to clean their patients' teeth. When steam won't do the job, sodablasting is the next best method of removing paint from exterior brickwork.

Why Strip Paint From A Brick House?

Here is a list of the advantages that removing the paint from the exterior of your house can bring.

By removing the airtight layer from the surface of the brickwork, you allow the underlying bricks to breathe once again, re-establishing the moisture cycle. Freeing your bricks again will increase their lifespan and keep your exterior looking better for longer.

Removing any old and flaking paint can improve its overall appearance for those looking to sell their properties. 

Bare brickwork is in fashion these days, so having any exterior paint removed from your home might boost its value.

Removing any exterior paint from your brickwork will also help your bricks to last longer, cutting down on erosion. 

This will ultimately save you money in the long run through not having to restore your bricks in the future.

Why is Masonry Paint So Difficult to Remove from Bricks?

One of the main reasons exterior paint, especially masonry paint, is so stubborn and difficult to remove is the nature of bricks themselves. 

Brick is a naturally porous material, so whatever you apply to them will immediately be soaked up by them. Therefore, once it has been allowed to soak in, it becomes harder to remove the paint.

While standard oil or acrylic paints won't offer up much resistance to a professional cleaning, more hardwearing protective paints will. These hardwearing paints include masonry paint, which resists all damage and cleaning. 

Removing masonry paint requires harsher cleaning techniques, such as chemical cleaning, which can be dangerous if used improperly.

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Do you require blast cleaning in London or throughout the UK? Contact us on our phone number or via email for further information or advice. If you are interested in a dustless blasting service, RM Specialist Blast Cleaning is always happy to help and assist you. 

We can offer high-quality training that may only take around 5 or so minutes. We have professionals on standby so that you can happily stop by and demo our machines at any hours of the day.