My house is undergoing a facelift at present. It was built around 1900, as far as I know. (I`m thinking of trying to find the actual history of it) It was, so I`m told the first one to be built in this road, and is the only one which was a detached house the ones which followed it were all semi-detached.
Being built over 100 years ago, of a softer type of brick and a sandyier mortar I suppose its no wonder that the bricks have been eroded away with the winds, the salt air and the weather. As for the mortar between the bricks, it had got so that you could run your finger along it and it would just crumble out. Infact at times, sitting indoors at night you would occasionally hear pieces falling down in the cavity wall.
Yes, expensive, but worth it.