Removing a brick veneer wall doesn't have to be complicated. Some homeowners who are true die-hard do-it-yourselfers are well aware of the love that goes into the upkeep of a house. Choosing to remove a brick veneer wall can seem a daunting task, but here are several easy ways to remove an existing brick veneer wall.
- Small sledge hammer
- Masonry Chisel
- Work Gloves
- Face Mask
- Protective Eyewear
- Masonry Saw
- Heavy Duty Plastic
- Wire Brush
Step 1: Preparation
Wear long sleeves, face mask, goggles and leather gloves when removing brick veneer. If working outside, protect windows, doors and landscaping with heavy plastic. Brick veneer can be sharp, so wear protective gear at all times.
Step 2: Removing the Mortar
Using a masonry chisel, remove the mortar around one brick. Hold your chisel at a 45 degree angle to the mortar, and strike with your sledgehammer. Gently pry that brick, away from the wall. If you are removing a whole wall, start on a corner brick or at the top of the wall and work your way down. Masonry or concrete saws as well as grinders can help remove a mortar in between bricks. Be aware that a lot of dust and debris will be kicked up during this process. Take extra precaution to protect windows, doors, plants, and of course, yourself. It is very helpful to have heavy plastic spread below the area where you are removing the brick veneer. It will help keep brick fragments and mortar chips in one place and makes cleanup a lot easier.
Step 3: Removing a Partial Area of Brick Veneer
If you're trying to remove only a section of the brick veneer, use a masonry saw or a grinder and cut completely around the area you want to remove. Use your hammer and masonry chisel to chip along the border lines, so you can remove the brick veneer safely, without damaging the surface underneath or the adjoining bricks you want to keep. Use a wire brush to scrape off any remaining mortar. Wash with a hose and let dry before replacing the siding.
Step 4: Removing Brick Veneer Panels
Brick veneer panels can either be a pressed plywood type of material, or a cast concrete substance. To remove the plywood style brick veneer panels, use your pry bar to find an edge and pry all the way around, until you pull the entire piece off the wall. There is often water damage to the subsurface around seams and cuts, so now is a good time to check for any repairs that might need to be made. Cement brick veneer panels are smaller, and put on like wooden siding or roofing shingles. In order to remove these, start at the top edge of the wall, until you pry one section off. Sometimes, you have to break or cut the first piece, in order to remove it. After that, work your way across the wall and down, because the pieces overlap the row below it. Often times, there will be hidden nails, screws and glue. Remember these can splinter and break, so use caution.
Step 5: Clean Up
Most brick veneers are heavy, so a good supply of contractor garbage bags is a must. Make sure that you do not overfill the garbage bags. Another handy tip is to utilize the heavy plastic that you put down. Cut it into 5 foot sections and use duct tape, wire or rope to tie them up with the debris inside. Keep in mind that your brick veneer debris will also have nails, screws and, sharp edges, so handle with caution.