Preserving very old brick structure
Hello all, I am about to purchase a home/ bulding that was constructed in the 1880s it is all brick, two stories and has a ornate brick facade over the regular brick on the front that is all original. The seller and I have been in negotiations for about a month of so and are about to enter a contract if all goes well. The seller had been having some work done on the brick over the past few weeks whcih included some repointing work, cleaning and powerwashing the exterior surface. They were about to start on the next phase of the work which , according to the work order was to apply a coating of sikaflex sealant and hydrozo enviroseal to all of the brick. along with some areas around openings that had been damaged, were to be covered in stucco. As soon as I saw that on the estimate, I adamantly requested that the owner have the contractor stop and not proceed any further with anymore work. I got the impression that this was going to be some half assed butchering that could ruin the facade and brick and certainly was not in keeping with the period of the building which I deeply would respect and would want.
My question is this, obviously, slapping stucco on an old brick building is a sin and looks terrible. but was I correct in having them not apply the sealer and waterprrofer to the brick? I would think that brick that was fired and used back in that era is totally different from modern brick and may not fare very well in the long run by having a modern synthetic chemical and sealant applied over it. I fear that once that would go on and penetrate, that there is no going back. If the building has stood the test of time for the past 130 years, then why change it. Doesnt old brick need to breathe and would a coating like this prevent that and potentially do more harm than good, along with looking like theres a sheen covering all this great old brick?
If I had to bet, I would say that the mortar that they used in the repointing areas was most likely not compatible with the original and is not lime based. Its tinted to match the brick, and I do not know the details of it, but my main concern was stopping them from spraying the sealant on the brick and if that was a smart decision on my part?