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Remove cladding from the front face of a victorian house

Posted by Francesca Tomei, on
Hi, I have a 3 bed victorian house in Forest Gate, whose front face is ruined by an horrible installation of stone cladding. I was wondering if there could be any chance to remove the cladding and restore the original bricks below? Thanks Francesca
Alan Molloy

Alan Molloy

This is something we have undertaken before on a Victorian Property on Brighton Road, Purley. Unfortunately the answer can't be 100% accurate until you remove the cladding. There can be 3 outcomes, these change according to how well the cladding was attached in the first place and the condition of the bricks before the cladding installation. 1) The cladding is easily removed by hand (badly attached) and the bricks only need gentle cleaning, mortar re-pointing and a little re-facing / printing of the bricks maybe. Ensure the brick-work is then protected by a water repellent/masonry creme to help the bricks last as long as possible. 2) The cladding is removed with more than a hand tool. This may mean the surfaces of the bricks are too badly damaged to be repaired correctly and last the test of time exposed to the weather. You will find full brick re-printing services however they will be prone to serious problems in the future, blowing/spauling, plus this is the most expensive option. You can repair them, re-point the mortar and the coat the surfaces of the bricks with a specialist coating/paint. This may not be ideal, however will leave the character and detail of the brickwork. Victorian properties can look nice with a subtle pastel colour on the brickwork and whitework/detailing in smooth white. 3) The cladding very well attached and is removed leaving major damage to the brickwork underneath, if this happens then rendering the brickwork may be your only option and then coating/painting to protect for the future. Unfortunately this may not be ideal but will look better than the cladding. By all means send us a message and we can pass on pictures and locations of properties having been under the same process. Until all the cladding is removed you really can't know, even a test area will not work as you may find some parts well attached and others not. Please whatever you do remember my point of the brick restoration, if the brickwork is too far gone, you could get it restored to look great for a few years however, long term this could turn into another similar cost to rectify and possibly damp problems internally. Always best to prepare for worst case scenario in this instance.

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