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Old 09-23-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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Vinyl Siding


I am purchasing a $35K house for the purpose of Fix/Flip. Years ago, someone had the bright idea of covering up the brick with what is now a faded green vinyl siding. I also have a bright idea and that is to remove the siding and expose the brick again. Furring strips were nailed into the brick and that is what the siding is mounted to. I pulled the siding up in several areas. The brick looks to be in pretty good shape. My plan would be to re-point where needed, apply a masonry primer, and paint. I'm wondering if anyone has removed siding and gone back to the brick and what sort of issues, I might run into. Thanks.

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Old 09-24-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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You said you removed the siding and the brick looked fine but did you remove the firing strips?

I couldn’t imagine not having damage to the brick after that type of installation.

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Old 09-24-2010, 10:59 PM   #3
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I pulled the siding up in several areas. The brick looks to be in pretty good shape.
Pretty good shape so far. I wonder why anyone in their right mind would cover brick with vinyl siding unless there was a problem. Be prepared to find an unpleasant surprise.

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My plan would be to re-point where needed, apply a masonry primer, and paint.
Just my humble opinion, but I think I would prefer maintenance-free siding, even if it is faded, to painted brick.
But then I have a thing against painted brick.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
You said you removed the siding and the brick looked fine but did you remove the firing strips?
I can't remove the firing strips until I actually close on the property...

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I couldn’t imagine not having damage to the brick after that type of installation.
Sure. That is a concern that once I jerk the strips off, I'm gonna have to do some patching. But how much? That's the $50K question. I'm thinking that it won't be as much work as is involved, say, in re-pointing. Then, of course, I would be applying a masonry primer and top coat.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:06 AM   #5
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Pretty good shape so far. I wonder why anyone in their right mind would cover brick with vinyl siding unless there was a problem. Be prepared to find an unpleasant surprise.
I might. I don't think I've yet worked on an old building in this city where I didn't run into complications along the way. Seems like it is par for the course.

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Just my humble opinion, but I think I would prefer maintenance-free siding, even if it is faded, to painted brick. But then I have a thing against painted brick.
This 'maintenance-free siding' is really show it's age. It must be over 30 years old. It looks like crap. That's the problem. What I'm thinking is that going back to the brick will help to restore what is otherwise a rather uninteresting turn-of-the-century end of row house (think of Philadelphia) into something with a bit more curb appeal. A peek under the vinyl siding indicates that the brick had been painted years ago - fire engine red. A lot of the brick row houses around here were painted because the brick was not kiln fired. Thus exposure to the elements begins to degrade it.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:32 AM   #6
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Vinyl is anything but final.

I’m glad to hear you want bring some new life back to this old house.

I don’t mind painted brick as long as the mortar lines are painted to look as such.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:35 AM   #7
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Vinyl is anything but final.

I’m glad to hear you want bring some new life back to this old house.

I don’t mind painted brick as long as the mortar lines are painted to look as such.
Do you mean paint the mortar lines to look like mortar?
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:54 AM   #8
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Absolutely, it’s those kind of details that will set you apart from the rest and give you the curb appeal you’re looking for IMO.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:08 AM   #9
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Suggestion for consideration:

Break away each piece of furring strip with chisel/old screwdriver so only masonry nails remain. They should no longer be flush to a surface but rather be 'raised' to thickness of furring strip. Then attach a vise grip pliers and turn clockwise and counter clockwise until nail is loose and able to be removed.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by diyorpay View Post
Suggestion for consideration:

Break away each piece of furring strip with chisel/old screwdriver so only masonry nails remain. They should no longer be flush to a surface but rather be 'raised' to thickness of furring strip. Then attach a vise grip pliers and turn clockwise and counter clockwise until nail is loose and able to be removed.
Sounds like a plan. I'm figuring in 8 hours with two people. Usually though, what I figure on and what ends up happening are at odds. I'll update to this thread when the work commences - maybe with some images just for yuks.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:03 PM   #11
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Sounds like a plan. I'm figuring in 8 hours with two people. Usually though, what I figure on and what ends up happening are at odds. I'll update to this thread when the work commences - maybe with some images just for yuks.
post some pictues when you get going on it.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
Pretty good shape so far. I wonder why anyone in their right mind would cover brick with vinyl siding unless there was a problem. Be prepared to find an unpleasant surprise.

Just my humble opinion, but I think I would prefer maintenance-free siding, even if it is faded, to painted brick.
But then I have a thing against painted brick.
I mighta/shoulda heeded your advice. Man, what a mess I'm in now. Once the vinyl siding was removed the actual condition of the brick was exposed to the world. The first 4 or 5 courses from the ground up is where the problem is the worse what with loose bricks and mortar that is shot. higher up its not so bad. The problem is that the brick had been painted so many times that you really cannot appreciate anymore the detail between brick and mortar line. A guy who does pressure washing said he wouldn't do it unless I signed a release. His concern being that the water would penetrate the brick and create a potential mold problem.

I have a guy coming over on Monday to give me an estimate to re-point. I dispise that vinyl siding, which only looks like simulated wood if you are driving by at 50 mph. Is it possible to go over the brick with something else? Maybe Hardie Plank or some such?? I only paid 35K for the house and have budgeted 24K to rehab it. Have to pay attention to what places are selling for in the neighborhood thus have to pay particular attention to where I target my rehab money.

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Old 10-31-2010, 06:25 PM   #13
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Vinyl Siding


Well, now you know why siding was put over the bricks. Sounds like you have to do some repair to the loose bricks and then apply some sort of siding to the exterior. Pressure washing the bricks might result in more damage as you were warned. My own home was brick look stucco when I bought it. The color was dingy gray and there were cracks all over. I had vinyl siding put over it and have no regrets. It also gave me a chance to have foam board insulation put on the exterior under the vinyl.
Keep in mind that the paint may contain lead so that sanding or abrading the paint off will require the services of specially licensed personnel.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:19 AM   #14
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Well, now you know why siding was put over the bricks. Sounds like you have to do some repair to the loose bricks and then apply some sort of siding to the exterior. Pressure washing the bricks might result in more damage as you were warned.
I'm in 'luck'. Found a young guy in need of work who just graduated from a local trade school where he specialized in masonry. He is hard at it re-pointing and replacing the brick where needed. I'm guestimating on the progress that he has made so far that he will be finished in between 10-14 days. The worst of it is underneath the window sills and the first 5 or 6 courses up from the ground. The brick itself is in good shape. I figure to save at least 2K over going back with vinyl siding and it sure is going to look a hell of a lot better IMO.

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My own home was brick look stucco when I bought it. The color was dingy gray and there were cracks all over. I had vinyl siding put over it and have no regrets. It also gave me a chance to have foam board insulation put on the exterior under the vinyl.
Keep in mind that the paint may contain lead so that sanding or abrading the paint off will require the services of specially licensed personnel.
I'm going to deal with the insulation issue differently - of course now that I going back to the brick. All exterior walls inside, I'll put up furring strips, rigid foam insulation, and drywall. Yeah.... I don't know of anyone employing SLP for this in the city I live in. Mostly it is scrape where need, sweep up, prime, paint and move on.
Pressure washing would be a nightmare, I think causing a mess, possible penetration issues, and maybe mold. Not being considered fo' sure.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by diyorpay View Post
Suggestion for consideration:

Break away each piece of furring strip with chisel/old screwdriver so only masonry nails remain. They should no longer be flush to a surface but rather be 'raised' to thickness of furring strip. Then attach a vise grip pliers and turn clockwise and counter clockwise until nail is loose and able to be removed.
That method just wasn't working. I was getting a lot of brick popping out creating craters. Brick is brittle. The mason suggested using a grinder with a cutoff wheel. Works like a charm.

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