Parging is simply a mortar-like mixture of cement, water and sand that is applied like plaster over concrete block surfaces. The goal is to disguise the appearance of the unattractive concrete blocks and provide a smooth wall surface. If you decide you don't like the appearance of parge, or if it begins to fail, you can remove it using hand tools. While the process is not complex, it is daunting, since you must chip it away a little at a time.
Things You'll Need
1-inch wide cold chisel
2 pound sledgehammer
Hand-held concrete grinder
Muriatic acid (optional)
Clad yourself in the proper safety gear before beginning the removal process. Wear work gloves to protect your hands and safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying parge bits.
Look closely at the parging to identify any areas that have chips or cracks; these are the best places to start the removal process.
Place the tip of a 1-inch wide cold chisel into the crack or chip, inserting only the corner if that is all that can fit. Push the handle of the chisel up toward the wall so you are removing parge at a downward angle. This will prevent damage to the underlying blocks.
Tap the head of the chisel with firm force, using a 2-pound sledgehammer. Continue tapping it until you see the parge crack and begin to fall away.
Continue chipping the parge away using the chisel and hammer and working your way from the top to the bottom of the wall. Repeat around the perimeter of the concrete until all the parge is removed.
Don a dust mask and plug in a hand-held concrete grinder. Sand the surface of the concrete blocks to remove any remaining fine pieces of the parge that remain on the blocks.
If the parge is thick, you can apply muriatic acid to the top surface and let it soak until the parge begins to soften. If you employ this method, use chemical-resistant clothing and safety gear, as this acid will cause injury if it contacts your skin or eyes.