Exterior Painting (brick) - permitting process?

6 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

Hi all - thanks in advance for your help! I'm looking to update the brick exterior on a 6-flat. I've been trying to research whether any type of permit is required. 

I do see that masonry cleaning/chemical wash (the prep work) -
"may require an air pollution control permit from the Environmental Permitting and Inspections Section of the CDPH"


And then digging further I see there's also a separate Architectural Surface Cleaning Permit could be required.

Anyone have experience with this? Thanks!

depends partially if you're going to remove the existing paint. if so, it might contain lead depending on age and would require special handling...

As @Lawrence P. Schnapf stated, if it's already painted and lead is suspected or tested, then there is a specific process to follow. In terms of the cleaning process, there are products out in the market for cleaning masonry without the harsh chemicals. This in theory keeps you from pulling a permit to perform this work and ultimately get the brick painted (no permit required to paint). That being said, you will require a canopy with a permit if you are working above a public way. Your canopy/scaffolding vendor can get you the permit as well. 

When in doubt call the cities building department and ask, but don’t disclose the address just in case. We normally call ax “prospective buyers” to create a little distance between ourselves and the question just in case. 

@Jonathan Bombaci

Keep in mind that the building department is always in need of some permit fees!!! If you are removing paint, then yes should be tested for lead and permitted. If you painting over existing, then you are encapsulating the existing paint and you should be good.