The painting continues apace, along with pointing and brick repairs. Our painter/go-to guy/contractor noted a major crack in the back of the house (we could see through it), and advised us that he was going to grind/chip out old mortar and break out any broken bricks and replace them prior to painting. Sure as shootin' he was up on a ladder doing just that.
It was a pretty extensive job, as you'll see when I get the photo uploaded. The interesting part about this is that he concluded that the crack is old. Very old. What we thought were broken bricks were just half bricks. He suspected that the brick work at the rear of the house was done by someone different from whoever did the rest of the house. It looked like it to me too as I studied it. Everything else is very plumb and straight. Maybe not square, but pretty close. The back is wavy for want of a better word. Not from settling, either. In any case, we're all pointed up and have cracks fixed so painting can progress.
DW also did a bit more framing on the 3rd floor in 90' plus heat, and I'm working on repairing some badly deteriorated bricks on the front chimney. This is around where a stove pipe tied in and when I knocked out a few of the bad bricks, I found that the chimney was filled with a combination of soot, brick, and mortar...all the way up to the 3rd floor. That would get wet and hold water, and that's what caused the efflorescence and deterioration. So, I'm about half way through replacing the bricks, using a somewhat softer mix of mortar, but not the really soft stuff that I used to point with, as the chimney will be capped and will remain dry. Also the brick I'm using is hard chimney brick. I'll be adding a picture of this, too, as soon as I take it.
One thing I'm noting is that in this hot weather, fans are key, but more important is water. Drink lots of it. I'm finding that I'm getting goofy at the end of the day, and that's a sure sign of not being hydrated enough. We'll be bringing lots of cold water to the site.
That's all for now.