Friday, May 6, 2011

Breaking Point

I am truly at the end of my tether. Here's why:

1. Ever been forced into a home project that becomes more mammoth by the minute (and literally bankrupts in the interim)?
2. If aesthetics are involved, then mortgaging one's own privates is worth it. But when 'The City' mandates the removal of paint from exterior brick, with the blanket rule of "all paint or no paint" (so draconian!) then I get hostile.
3. I am all for removing peeling paint, but not at the expense of the conservation of the brick. Preservation is my chief concern. ALWAYS. In fact, the brick actually has a lovely veneer. However, some of the pesky paint would not budge (baked into the brick), so it was suggested that we power-wash/sandblast the brick.
4. Me: totally anti... really concerned about the aggressive nature of those alternatives.
5. I was right (what's new?). One blast of the power-washer, and the 1865 mortar began to erode and eject in huge chunks.
6. Stroke was imminent. Stress and anxiety is not my strong point. Yelling at full volume, I almost got run over (standing in the middle of the street) and halted the mission immediately. There is only one way to remove the paint from this gargantuan elevation — by hand!
7. If 'The City' has a problem with the small fraction of brick with paint adhered to it, would they prefer it if I removed those delinquent culprit-bricks from the side of the house? Are large gaps preferable? Or perhaps demolish that entire section?

Whatever pleases thee, me lords...



Some of the crew

Note 80 foot cherry picker to the left and man on fire escape

the invasive nature of power washing

paint flecks flew everywhere and stuck... practically impossible to remove

Photographs by: Philippa Berrington-Blew

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