Tearing Out Mortared Brick Patio

Old 09-17-01, 10:19 AM
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We bought a new house with an old brick patio. Problem is, the patio has sunk such that grading is now backward... water flows TOWARD our house.

We want to tear out the old brick patio and replace it with a new (well-graded) one. We are on a budget and want to do the work ourselves. I pried up a couple bricks using a brick chisel and found the bricks are mortared together on top but appear to rest only on a bed of sand (hence, the sinking).

My question is... what tool will help us quickly cut the top mortar and remove the existing patio? Is there a diamond or other circular saw blade to cut mortar between bricks? A special jackhammer-type thingee? Anything else I can rent at Home Depot?

Any help and advice is welcome. THANKS!
Old 09-17-01, 02:57 PM
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A number of techniques and tools exist. I assume the intent is to save the most bricks possible. Prying with a larger lever and fulcrum will probably be the most cost effective and cause the least destruction to the brick.

A large pick mattock works well. A 42" L wrecking bar is fast also (a rental item since you're on a budget). With either the most effective motion is pull up then jerk the lever slightly sideways. The mortar will shear and break. Use old board stock to traverse the sand bed.

Impact is another technique. Low cost but destroys brick in the process: hitting mortar joints with a sledge hammer. Higher cost but more surgical: rent a chipping gun and chisel point (analogous to a power chisel with an attitude). A roto-hammer in hammer mode plus a chisel point is an alternate.

Sawing is the highest cost and not as fast as other techniques. Diamond blades circular saws are commonly available. A worm drive circular saw is almost a requisite. The bearings on lower cost saws wear more quickly and their anti kickback features defeat progress. Diamond blades for grinders are available also. But a grinder with a diamond blade is nasty dangerous tool in the hands of the unskilled.
Old 09-17-01, 04:30 PM
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Tearing out brick patio

A giant pry bar and something for a fulcrum will be best for tearing it out. I would see how much paving bricks cost before I got into the sawing and the cleaning of the old bricks. Factor in your labor and cost for equipment, etc. You might be better off to get new bricks.
Old 09-18-01, 05:41 AM
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Talking Thanks!

Thanks! Great ideas... I NEVER would have thought about prying them out. I really appreciate your taking the time to answer me. You are welcome to come sit a spell on our (soon to be) new patio any time!

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