We recently bought a house, which is 120 years old! Originally built in 1893, it is constructed of solid brick masonry with a sandstone foundation.
The brick and foundation are currently painted. We thought that since brick masonry from that time period tends to be a bit softer, that perhaps the paint is "protecting" the brick and foundation from the elements. However, on the other hand, we have also been told that the paint is damaging the brick/foundation and causing cracks and some crumbling because it is not allowing the brick/stone to "breathe" properly and get rid of any moisture build-up.
So basically, my question is: should we leave the brick masonry and the sandstone foundation painted on a home of this age? Or should we strip the paint, exposing the bare brick and stone as it was originally? Thank you!