Make Your Brick Removal Simple with Masonry Chicago

How to Manage Brick Removal – From Small Projects to Large

Bricks are wonderful building materials and can be used to create all sorts of solid and long-lasting structures, from patios and chimneys all the way to garden walls and entire houses. But like most materials, they don’t last forever and at some point will need to be repaired or replaced. You might also have home DIY projects that require removing a few bricks from an existing wall. Depending on the size of the brick removal project you may want to undertake it yourself or work with local contractors or masonry experts to manage your brick disposal and removal. For all your masonry needs in Chicago, speak to Masonry Chicago on 773-231-5371 or email [email protected]

Removing single bricks

When it comes to removing bricks sometimes you only need to move one or two bricks, and this is a DIY project that many people will be able to undertake themselves.

Why remove single bricks

You might be wondering why would you only need to remove a few bricks from a wall. There are several reasons for this which include:

  • Installing a vent in a brick wall
  • Repairing damaged brick
  • Putting in new pipes or wiring

How to remove a brick from a wall

Before you start any brick removal projects make sure you are properly protected from any construction debris or flying mortar chips. Wear a pair of safety goggles, a protective mask, and thick work gloves at all times.

  1. Using a masonry drill bit drill holes through the mortar, close together, all around the brick you want to remove. If possible use a hammer drill and ensure you go all the way through the mortar joints.
  2. Use a specialist masonry chisel and hammer to break up the mortar joints completely. Be careful not to damage or crack any surrounding bricks.
  3. Remove the brick, using either your fingers or a chisel to pry out the brick.
  4. Clean away any remaining mortar from the mortar joint using a masonry chisel and hammer, but remember to be gentle to avoid damaging the remaining wall. You can clear the rest of the mortar away using a stiff wire brush.

Removing a brick wall

Sometimes larger projects are required such as removing an entire brick wall or structure. Perhaps your garage wall or fireplace is no longer in good condition and you want to remove it.

Before removing brick structures

If your wall might be load-bearing or contains other structural elements like wiring or plumbing you should probably consult with an engineer or local contractors before beginning the project. You might also need to engage their services to ensure the work is done safely.

You should also check with local building regulations to find out if you need a demolition permit. This can be required for certain types of walls or structures, depending on your local building department’s rules.

How to remove a brick wall

Before starting the project you may need to set up scaffolding, or alternatively use a sturdy ladder. Ensure you are using all necessary safety equipment such as work gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask or respirator.

  1. While you can use a hand chisel and hammer this will take a long time, so we recommend using an air chisel with a masonry tip, especially for larger walls.
  2. Always begin with the top row of bricks. Using the air chisel, insert the tip into the mortar joints and use the chisel to break up the mortar. Keep chiseling until the brick comes loose.
  3. Remove the bricks one at a time, row by row.
  4. If there are any pipes or metal fixtures in your wall, ensure they are disconnected before cutting them away with a reciprocating saw.
  5. Dispose of the bricks following your local regulations.
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        Disposing of old bricks

        After you remove brick from house it’s important to dispose of the brick correctly. There are various options for this.

        Local landfill

        You can take your old bricks to a local landfill yourself where you will generally be charged by weight.

        Dumpster or junk removal service

        For large amounts of bricks, you can pay a local service to brick a truck and take away your old bricks, or alternatively hire a dumpster and have that removed at the end of your demolition project.

        Reuse or recycle

        There are several options for reusing or recycling complete, undamaged bricks. Perhaps you have a local materials exchange program where you can find local organizations that use recycled bricks. Or you can reuse your old bricks to make brick paths in your garden or to edge garden beds.


        Contractors or individuals are often looking for bricks to upcycle, making their construction projects more environmentally friendly. So if your bricks are in very good condition you might be able to sell them online via Craigslist or local classified ads.

          Frequently Asked Questions

          How much does it cost to remove bricks?

          The cost of removing bricks will depend on many factors. These might include:

          • How big is the structure?
          • Is the wall load bearing or not?
          • Does the wall contain any structural steel?
          • Are there any electrical cables or water pipes in the wall?

          For small to medium-sized structures, including patios, garages, or porches you can expect to pay between $1,000 to $2,000 to a contractor to demolish your brick structure and remove the demolition waste.

          What is the easiest way to remove bricks?

          If you are removing one or two bricks from a wall to install a vent or put in some wiring or plumbing, you can use a mortar chisel and hammer to chip away the mortar and remove the brick by hand. Always be careful not to damage any surrounding bricks when doing this.

          What is the best way to remove a brick wall?

          There are various tools you can use to quickly remove mortar from brick walls and complete your brick removal project.

          • A mortar chisel and hammer can be used by hand, but this will be slow and only really suited to small jobs.
          • An air chisel is a great option for medium-sized projects.
          • A mortar grinder with a tuck-pointing blade is another great option for medium-sized brick removal.
          • For a larger demolition project, you may need to rent a skid-steer and make sure it includes a jackhammer attachment.

          How do I remove bricks from my house?

          When you need to remove and replace a damaged or cracked brick from your house the best way is to use a mortar chisel and hammer to remove the mortar around the brick and extract the damaged brick. Make sure you use a specialist mortar chisel and not a cold chisel or wood chisel. Be careful not to damage any of the surrounding brickwork and ensure you clear away all the old mortar.

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