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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    Hello,

    I have started a restoration project in my upstairs bathroom and I think it may be a little out of my league.

    Two of the walls have some kind of plaster attached directly to the brick. There are no studs in these walls and the plaster I have removed has preveiled bad/cracked brick where a lot of the morter needs replaced. Some of the brick I guess weren't long enough so whoever built the house filled the gaps with pieces of wood to fill the void in stead of using a whole piece of brick. I don't know if this was typical back then or if they were just rushing through it or just simply didn't care.

    My intentions are to frame the walls so that I can run all plumbing and electrical and keep everything up to code, but at the same time I don't want the bad brick to destroly the new walls or cause damage to the wiring/plumbing that I plan to run behind it. The house is 150 years old and had a old claw foot tub and cast iron sink that was mounted to the wall. All of the piping was exposed that ran to the tub and sink and the piping they ran to the drains corroded causing the pipes to leak (which caused a big section of the plaster ceiling below it to come crashing down) and the hot and cold lines seem okay as far a leaks, but the inside of them have this green material and did some research and it was a different material used back then instead of the standard copper piping used today. I need to ask my plumber about this, but if you guys know I would appreciate your input. I know a plumber is going to tell me to replace it all regardless so they make more money. Also, there are no shut off valves upstairs in case of lines breaking or faucets leaking, so when a problem occurred I had to race down to the basement to shut off the water to the upstairs bathroom - a lot of water was able to build up by the time I made it the basement to shut it off. I told my plumber this was one of the main things I wanted added upstairs.

    Long story short I just need advise on what I should do to weather proof the exposed brick walls. Should I buy a bunch of mortar and skim coat the entire wall? Or would concrete be better to use to skim coat the walls? Or worst cast do I need to replace all the bricks and mortar which would take me a extremely long time. I know I need to have the outside brick walls tuck-pointed soon, but do I need to do that to the interior layer that is exposed in my bathroom? My last question is about the old hot and cold lines I mentioned above, should I keep or replace? I'm sorry, I lied I have one last question. There is one fume line upstairs that runs to the room which is mainly for the toilet I think because it has a elbow right next to where the toilet mounts that runs straight up to the roof, but I'm being told that to have it up to code the sink and tub also need one. Someone mention they sell mechanical ones that hook up to the drain line would work fine and were only like $30 a piece.

    Please help! Need suggestions before I begin framing so that my plumber and electrician can come back and finish their work.


    ***PS.....Also, learned the hard way that I should have wore a respiratory mask. Was sicker than a dog for 3 days and still feel sorta crummy, I have no plans of going back up there until I'm completely better and buy the proper safety tools (respiratory mask, gloves, and Google's - the safety glasses work, but a lot of degree still falls behind them) I should of had when starting the tear down of the old walls. I learned a lot from this mistake and hope anyone new like me gets the chance to read this so it doesn't happen to them.


    Best Regards,

    Brian









    Thanks,

    Zy0[/IMG]Brian
    Last edited by bwalton41073; 08-30-2012 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Proof reading / forgot a few things

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    254

    Default Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    The wood blocks in the brick wall were there when the wall was constructed they are called nailers and used to hols furring to the brick walls than wood lath was nailed to the furring.
    The wood blocking should be either 16 inch or maybe up to 24 inches apart horizonal and up to 4 Ft vertical.
    The other type of nailers were called mule boards and were placed in place of a brick course horizonally about every 4 ft. and furring strips nailed to the mule boards than the wood lath.
    As for repair to the old Historical brick for repointing the joints and parging I would recommend that a soft mortar be used.
    I would say 350 PSI Type O " Mortar but no stronger than 750 PSI Type " N " Mortar.
    You could also use NHL mortar ( Natural Hydralic Lime )it comes in Type 2 3 & 5 2 being the lower psi

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Bellevue, KY
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    Thumbs up Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need advise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence View Post
    The wood blocks in the brick wall were there when the wall was constructed they are called nailers and used to hols furring to the brick walls than wood lath was nailed to the furring.
    The wood blocking should be either 16 inch or maybe up to 24 inches apart horizonal and up to 4 Ft vertical.
    The other type of nailers were called mule boards and were placed in place of a brick course horizonally about every 4 ft. and furring strips nailed to the mule boards than the wood lath.
    As for repair to the old Historical brick for repointing the joints and parging I would recommend that a soft mortar be used.
    I would say 350 PSI Type O " Mortar but no stronger than 750 PSI Type " N " Mortar.
    You could also use NHL mortar ( Natural Hydralic Lime )it comes in Type 2 3 & 5 2 being the lower psi
    Thanks Clarence!

    Just one last question can i remove the small blocks since I will not be nailing anything across the wall? And most importantly can I skim coat the entire walls using the mortars you listed above? I would like a smooth flat surface when I begin framing the walls. Also, if skim coating is possible do you have any suggestions to make the job easier?
    Best Regards,

    Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    I think you got a good answer on the brick issue, your walls should be several layers thick. Sometimes plaster was applied directly to the brick, but that was probably done later to the house by someone that did not know what they were doing. It is not a good idea, the brick needs to breath a little.

    The green coating inside your copper pipes is normal. It is actually the copper forming a thin layer of copper oxide, aka corrosion. Once the layer forms, it protects the copper under it from further corrosion. It also acts as a biocide keeping your water safer to drink. If the copper pipes are over 50 years old, you might want to replace them anyway. The biggest concern with old pipes is the lead used in the solder back in the old days.

    The drains are usually cast iron. The nice thing about cast iron is that it is a great noise suppressor. Due to cost, your plumber will want to use PVC. If the vertical sections of the cast iron are in good shape, and they usually are as they don't have standing water or sewage in them, then see if he will reuse them and only replace the horizontal sections.

    As for the vent (fume) lines, it is best to use them unless it is just impossible. Your tub and sink can share the vent line where it goes through your roof. You generally make the connections up in the attic. Your plumber will know how to do this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bellevue, KY
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    Thumbs up Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    I think you got a good answer on the brick issue, your walls should be several layers thick. Sometimes plaster was applied directly to the brick, but that was probably done later to the house by someone that did not know what they were doing. It is not a good idea, the brick needs to breath a little.

    The green coating inside your copper pipes is normal. It is actually the copper forming a thin layer of copper oxide, aka corrosion. Once the layer forms, it protects the copper under it from further corrosion. It also acts as a biocide keeping your water safer to drink. If the copper pipes are over 50 years old, you might want to replace them anyway. The biggest concern with old pipes is the lead used in the solder back in the old days.

    The drains are usually cast iron. The nice thing about cast iron is that it is a great noise suppressor. Due to cost, your plumber will want to use PVC. If the vertical sections of the cast iron are in good shape, and they usually are as they don't have standing water or sewage in them, then see if he will reuse them and only replace the horizontal sections.

    As for the vent (fume) lines, it is best to use them unless it is just impossible. Your tub and sink can share the vent line where it goes through your roof. You generally make the connections up in the attic. Your plumber will know how to do this.
    Keith,

    So not a good idea to cover entire brick wall with mortar? I should just fix all the bad spots?

    As far as the fume lines what about the mechanical ones I heard about that hook up to the septic line at the sink and tub?
    Best Regards,

    Brian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    Yes you can remove the wood blocks and fill with the type O mortar.
    As for skimming the bricks I agree it not recommended to cover or plaster the interior with gypsum plaster or a very hard dense coating like hard portland cement.
    But if you use the typo O mortar at 350 PSI it will breath as the mortar will be compatable with the old soft mortar existing in the joints know.
    If you can't find the Type O Mortar use the NHL 2.
    Do not use Type N from the local supplier.
    If you are close to Georiga you can get a real good tope O from A.W. Cook Hoschton, Georgia. 30548 Ph # 706-654-3677.
    I have use 142 50 # bags as of this mounth it is great and works well and will skim smooth no trouble.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    254

    Default Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    Yes you can remove the wood blocking and fill in with the type O mortar.
    I agree that direct applacation of a gypsum or hard dense mortar is not acceptable as a skim coat.But type O mortar of no more than 350 PSI wuold be ok as it is breathable and compatable with the existing bricks and mortar.Do not use a type N mortar from the local supplier.
    THe NHL 2 would work very well.
    If you need a good Type O and are close to Georgia check with A.W. Cook Hoschton, Ga. 30548 Ph# 706-654-3677

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence View Post
    Yes you can remove the wood blocking and fill in with the type O mortar.
    I agree that direct applacation of a gypsum or hard dense mortar is not acceptable as a skim coat.But type O mortar of no more than 350 PSI wuold be ok as it is breathable and compatable with the existing bricks and mortar.Do not use a type N mortar from the local supplier.
    THe NHL 2 would work very well.
    If you need a good Type O and are close to Georgia check with A.W. Cook Hoschton, Ga. 30548 Ph# 706-654-3677

    Clarence,

    Awesome news. I think I have enough info now to jump back in. Thanks for all the great advise.
    Best Regards,

    Brian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bellevue, KY
    Posts
    6

    Question Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence View Post
    Yes you can remove the wood blocking and fill in with the type O mortar.
    I agree that direct applacation of a gypsum or hard dense mortar is not acceptable as a skim coat.But type O mortar of no more than 350 PSI wuold be ok as it is breathable and compatable with the existing bricks and mortar.Do not use a type N mortar from the local supplier.
    THe NHL 2 would work very well.
    If you need a good Type O and are close to Georgia check with A.W. Cook Hoschton, Ga. 30548 Ph# 706-654-3677
    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    I think you got a good answer on the brick issue, your walls should be several layers thick. Sometimes plaster was applied directly to the brick, but that was probably done later to the house by someone that did not know what they were doing. It is not a good idea, the brick needs to breath a little.

    The green coating inside your copper pipes is normal. It is actually the copper forming a thin layer of copper oxide, aka corrosion. Once the layer forms, it protects the copper under it from further corrosion. It also acts as a biocide keeping your water safer to drink. If the copper pipes are over 50 years old, you might want to replace them anyway. The biggest concern with old pipes is the lead used in the solder back in the old days.

    The drains are usually cast iron. The nice thing about cast iron is that it is a great noise suppressor. Due to cost, your plumber will want to use PVC. If the vertical sections of the cast iron are in good shape, and they usually are as they don't have standing water or sewage in them, then see if he will reuse them and only replace the horizontal sections.

    As for the vent (fume) lines, it is best to use them unless it is just impossible. Your tub and sink can share the vent line where it goes through your roof. You generally make the connections up in the attic. Your plumber will know how to do this.
    Keith,

    Keith,

    Would like to thank you as well for all the plumbing advise. I like the idea of branching off the main one that runs up from the toilet. My plumber replaced the cast iron septic line that ran upstairs with PVC, but is going to somehow connect the new PVC to the fume line running up to the roof. I'm hoping he can branch off the cast iron line in my attic with PVC as well. I think I'm going to have him run individual ones to the sink and tub instead of sharing one. The plumber is a close friend and all I'm paying for is the PVC. All the copper lines and connectors are free!

    I did read somewhere that when I go to frame the walls that I should use 2X6 in order to have room for the plumbing lines. The main cast iron line that we replaced I bought 3" type 40 and I have 2" type 40 that I guess he is going to use to run to sink and tub. The 2X6 would give more room for insulation, but will shorten the room and I imagine when it comes time to getting to the window I'm going to have to build a wide window seal and line the insides with what ever size I need. The molding I'm going to use is the old historic molding that I'm currently stripping and staining. I love the old wood work in this house and would never replace it with the newer crap at Lowe's.

    So if you could answer one last question for me I would be forever thankful. If my plumber runs 2" PVC to the sink and tub do you think it would be okay to frame using 2x4's or should I go with the 2x6 frame?

    Thanks in advance.
    Best Regards,

    Brian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default Re: Interior brick walls covered with plaster or concrete I think....Need avise!

    You can use 2x4's for the wet wall of the sink and tub. If this is an exterior wall, I would bias the supply pipes to the interior and get plenty of insulation between them and the outside wall, otherwise you will have a freeze problem. If you are using an enclosed cabinet as a vanity, you should use louvered doors so that some warm room air can get in there or have a gap at the back.

    Glad to see that you are going with vent (fume) lines. The issue that I have with the mechanical ones is that they become a maintenance item. They have to be replaced every 10 or 20 years or so. The vent lines are not a future maintenance item. Rubber deteriorates over time.

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