How to Remove Paver Steps

What You'll Need
Masonry chisel
Pry bat
Safety glasses
Muriatic acid

You may need to remove paver steps if you are looking to change the external appearance of your home. You can pay a professional to do the job, but this will inevitably cost a lot of money. Instead, you can do the job yourself. Although it’s not a difficult task, it is labor intensive and takes a sizable amount of time so you need to be prepared for a fairly long shift!

Step 1 - Removing the First Bricks

The brick paver steps will be set in mortar so you’re going to need to break through it in order to loosen them. Put on your safety glasses and gloves. Take your hammer and masonry chisel and start with the outermost brick. Place the chisel at the side of the brick, with the blade straight, so it will enter the mortar next to the brick.

Hit the chisel with the hammer several times then move the chisel further along the brick. The blows should loosen the mortar and this needs to be repeated on both mortared sides of the brick.

When you’ve done this, move your chisel so the edge is flat against the underside of the brick where it joins to the steps by another layer of mortar. Hit the chisel and loosen the brick. You can now try using the chisel as a lever to pull the brick out. If it moves but won’t pull all the way out, ease a pry bar under the brick and exert a little force on it. This should remove the brick more easily.

If it doesn’t, you’ll need to use the hammer and chisel a little more. Repeat these actions for all the bricks in the row.

Step 2 - Clearing the Steps

You’ll need to keep doing this over and over until you have all the paver steps in a single row removed. Put them aside and move to the next row and continue until you’ve removed all the paver steps. Although the bricks have gone, you’re still going to need to remove the mortar before you can put anything else down.

Take your brush and sweep each step hard. This will remove all the loose mortar and allow you to see how much remains to be cleared. Take a hose and soak the steps. This should help make the mortar easier to remove. With the masonry chisel and hammer, remove the largest chunks of mortar. You won’t be able to get it all but try to get as close to the surface as possible. Sweep intermittently to clear the debris.

Step 3 - Acid

When you’ve removed as much of the mortar as possible with your chisel, mix up a solution of muriatic acid in a bucket. There should be 1 part acid to 10 parts water. Pour this on the remaining mortar and leave for an hour.

When you come back to it, you should be able to remove the rest of the mortar with the hammer, chisel and brush.