The brick repairs are finished here at Pearson House. We’ve come a long way from how things looked before. Check out these before-and-after photos.
:: Ticky-Tacky Repair Work
At various points in this brick home’s history, cement, glue and caulk were used to “repair” damage to the 87-year-old mortar on the porch columns. This method was obviously not a very effective means for repairing damage — and in some cases led to further damage.
:: A Facelift
The repair work involved grinding the joints down, rebuilding the columns where no support remained, replacing bricks that had no integrity, repointing, cleaning the brick faces as well as possible, and sealing the brick with a protective but breathable graffiti-proof sealer. (There are probably many more steps than that, but as a lay person, these are all I’m aware of.)
:: Working an Angle
The contractors also ground the unsightly brick red paint off the column caps. We’re tackling the porch paint removal this weekend. We might eventually end up skim-coating the porch and the caps. For budget reasons, that would be part of our next phase of masonry work.
:: Long Gone
Shown above is a column that had to be rebuilt. Interestingly enough, our home inspector didn’t see a problem with this column, which I pointed out to him at the time of inspection. He said it still had integrity and “wasn’t falling apart.” Hmm. I beg to differ.
:: A Strong Hold
Who knew a rebuilt column could bring such joy? This one sure does, for me at least. It’s such a relief to see it in this state as opposed to falling apart.
:: Close-Up of Cap with Paint Removed
The caps don’t look perfect, but they look much better without the red paint than they did with it. They’ll definitely do for now, especially with potted plants dressing them up.
:: Deteriorating Columns Flanking Left Side of Stairs
It’s amazing that this brick was salvageable. I wouldn’t have thought so, given how it looked before — caked in concrete and dirt. Everything sure cleaned up nicely. I feel as if we’ve taken the home one step closer to looking like its old self.
:: Transformed Columns Flanking Right Side of Stairs
I love seeing the columns this way — the way they were meant to look. The aged faces of the bricks now add to the home’s character rather than detracting from its appeal.
:: Deteriorating Support Column
The damage shown above is what concerned us the most. The deterioration on both support columns, in part brought about by the use of improper materials in the joints, meant we were well on our way to having a serious structural issue at Pearson House.
:: Repaired Porch Column
Now we can rest a little easier knowing the columns are once again here to stay, not well on their way to collapsing.
Next up: My husband and I take a pressure washer to the porch and see how much paint will come off. As you can see, the top layer of paint is peeling in several places just from the contractors working on the masonry. Whoever painted this porch before the home sold clearly didn’t do the appropriate prep work to ensure good adhesion.
Poor Pearson House. It deserves much better treatment than it’s been getting for the past couple of decades. I hope we have a better track record and leave the home in better condition than we found it.